PLAYING RIZZO IN GREASE
This is going to be such an opportunity for growth in my musical theater career for multiple reasons. Rizzo has to:
- be a memorable, hardass-turned-vulnerable character
- belt the brazen “Sandra Dee,” and croon the sultry “Worse Things I Could Do”
- hold herself like she knows she’s sexy
- get in physical altercations with Sandy and Kenickie
- be the polar opposite of Sandy
- dance like she knows how
I’m still stuck in ingenue mode—and classically trained opera-singing mode—so this ballsy, belty high-school-smoker thing is completely out of my comfort zone.
But that’s where all the FUN is!
MY PLAN OF ATTACK
(without attacking my vocal folds!)
First on my list is to get my belting feet solidly under me. I know I can do it; I grew my vocal abilities for Woman 2 in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and I know I can do it again. I’ve committed to doing belting warmups and exercises every morning, starting with 15 minutes and going from there. It’s exactly like fitness and running:
You can’t do it all on the first day.
Next on my list is characterization—Rizzo’s mannerisms, speaking cadences, dynamics with particular characters (subtext), and overall intentions/attitude. It’ll be similar to studying the translations behind the text of German Lieder.
Third comes my dance chops. I’m going to need to practice the choreography on my own time, because I don’t pick it up as quickly as those with dance backgrounds. This is all going to be an organization, dedication, time-management thing. I can do it!
There’s another thing it’s about, too.
I have to completely rewire my thought process about all three of the above. For the longest time, I identified as a classical singer who cannot (and should not) belt, who has absolutely no formal acting training, and who is only comfortable performing when standing in one spot on the stage. All of that has to change. I’m not sure of that plan of attack yet, but I’ll update you along the journey.
WHAT ARE YOU TAKING ON TODAY?