BWW Blog: What To Do When You Forget The Words to Your Song
Hello all! My name is Hayley Martini and I am so stoked to be a new student blogger here in Broadway World! I am a sophomore musical theater major at the University of Central Oklahoma. I have always been involved in shows in my community, but it was not until this time last year that one of my mentors helped me realize that I could make musical theater my career. Ever since then my love for musicals has blossomed and I am so excited for what the future holds.
My program and I just recently closed a show called Macabret, a revue where every student learns the pop song assigned to us and our directors give us a spooky concept to work with. It is so much fun and it gives us the opportunity to get to know everyone in the program a bit better. This year I had the awesome opportunity to perform a solo; I sang Constant Craving by k.d. lang. I was a vampire attacking a poor girl tied to a chair who just so happened to be one of my friends. Then on opening night, something terrible happened. Okay so maybe it was not terrible, but I am a dramatic musical theater student and Halloween is right around the corner, so I wanted to add a bit of pizazz to my last statement.
On opening night, during the second verse of my song I forgot my words. I recovered fairly well by humming with purpose until I got back on track. Yes, everyone forgets the words at some point. Yes, it is a small, simple mistake and I would like to help you with the inevitable moment when you make this ancient mistake.
Step 1. Process your emotions.
As I said before, forgetting your words is the most common problem when it comes to performing, but that does not mean that you will not be a little bit frustrated with yourself. Take a moment, set a timer for 5 minutes and let yourself be mad, sad or both for the entire time. When the timer goes off move on to step 2.
Step 2. Look at the bigger picture.
Remind yourself that this happens to everyone. Remind yourself that people cannot be perfect all the time especially when you are performing in front of others. This will not matter in a week. This will not matter in a year. Honestly, if you ask around, people will most likely tell you that they did not even notice.
I know it's cheesy, but sometimes humans need a little reminder that their imperfections are not the enemy.