Making a song and dance of it – lessons from the theatre

No blog post or YouTube video last week because I was treading the boards. I got rather sidelined with a week performing in “Showtime” at the Corn Exchange in Wallingford. I had a fantastic week but as always came away with lessons to apply to my horsey life. You can take the girl away from horses but….

So, what did I learn

– surrounding yourself with positive people will change the way you think. The team on stage and behind the scenes were so encouraging. There was no competition or bitchiness or cliques, everyone was just there to give it their best shot and was genuinely cheering everyone else on. It was refreshing and I genuinely performed better because of it.

– practice, practice, practice. Weekly rehearsals, a rehearsal schedules, plans of where we should be by certain dates were all in place. This could be so useful for riding. Maybe if we wrote down what we want to work on, by what date, schedule in specific training days for different areas this could kick start our training plans. I also found the saying “Amateurs practice until they get it right, professionals train until they can’t get it wrong” to be very relevant. I sang the songs so much that by show week, I was able to just perform them. I didn’t worry about forgetting the lines, or have to think about where I was going.

– hydration! I was so well behaved when it came to drinking water during show week as I know I have to look after my vocal cords if I wanted to sing to my best. But, would I do the same at a horse show? Realistically not!

– faking it. I was so nervous for show week, like considered backing out just before curtain up levels of nervous. But, I didn’t focus on this. If you ask the rest of the cast, they may even have been surprised. Sometimes by faking confidence, it helps manage nerves.

– don’t forget to have fun. I tend to take things seriously, sometimes too seriously. The cast and crew of the show reminded me to have some fun too though. They were a truly ridiculously, wonderful bunch and it was quite contagious!

– there’s no business like show business. The horse showing world can definitely learn from the theatre world. Adding a smile, some energy and committing to your part can help to win over your audience or your judge. I have written before about the extra sparkle that true show riders can bring and how sometimes taking a risk can be a powerful thing.

I won’t be swapping my jodhpurs for jazz shoes just yet but it was definitely a fun adventure. Plus as the show sold out, it will be returning for 3 extra nights in November so I may just have to reprise my role once more.

My most recent horsey adventure and behind the scenes video from the Monty Roberts demonstration at The Grange is on my YouTube channel. I am not sharing a video of me singing, you will just have to imagine I was brilliant!

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *