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BWW Blog: In Comes Company - Working with a Studio Ensemble

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BWW Blog: In Comes Company - Working with a Studio Ensemble

On February 14th most people were celebrating Valentine's day, but I instead had woken up, did my hair and makeup, put on a plaid suit and went to celebrate what was arguably my biggest accomplishment: graduating from my applied musical theatre training program.

The program lasted around six months and was made up of fifteen participants chosen from the two year diploma program that I previously wrote about.

What makes this program different is instead of sitting in various classrooms we get to actually put our learning to work. The school hires three or more professionals from across Canada to direct our season which consists of two plays and one musical, although most directors jump at the opportunity to use our musical abilities in both instruments and singing to assist in telling the stories on stage.

Our weeks would start on Tuesday and end on Sunday. I would wake up around eight and get ready for my day by brushing my teeth, getting dressed, and grabbing my breakfast to eat at the school, before grabbing my bag and taking the short, but always welcomed bus ride to school. I was the type of person who would show up extremely early, I have never been one to sleep in and it also allowed me to make myself a cup of tea in our student kitchen and have a moment to ground myself before stepping into the rehearsal room.

I make sure to be in the room at least ten minutes before call time, sometimes more, it allows me to feel the energy of the room and to do a very light warm up for both my body and voice. Once all of us are in the room depending on the director we would either have our daily check-in, a group warm up, or dive into the work. We would break throughout the day for lunch, dinner, and the occasional '5', but for the most part we were in the school and with the company twelve hours a day.

If we weren't in the rehearsal room, or if we were between shows we worked with different directors, actors, teachers, and mentors on new aspects of performing in various masterclasses and workshops. However, the most interesting and unique part of this experience was that while we each had a role onstage we were also given a production role and a mentor to help lead us. Throughout the week we would have meetings and calls dedicated to our production time and we would spend Sunday nights working long hours and depending on the struggles we faced there were very tense moments fueled by exhaustion and frustration, but we were always able to handle the situation and face it head on.

Working as a company was rewarding and an incredible learning experience. It helped that we already knew each other for two years prior, but that didn't mean there weren't interpersonal challenges we had to overcome. No matter who you are working with there will always be someone you don't get along with, or opinions and processes you don't agree with, but being able to be respectful, open minded, and occasionally bite one's tongue led to opportunities where we could push ourselves and each other to excel in such an intensive environment.

Standing in that room on February 14th beside the other fourteen members of my company I felt so proud of how far I had come, but was also proud of the work done by the people around me and I am proud that today I still get to call them my company.

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