June 13, 2010

The beauty of rehearsal

In live theater, a lot can go wrong. An actor could forget his lines; An actress might miss her cue; A lighting technician may accidentally illuminate the wrong area of the stage entirely. All of these things could happen, and in some theaters, they do happen.

However, I venture to say that in professional theaters, events like these are few and far between. How, with all of the variables and crazy stuff that could occur, does the theater "go on?"

Rehearsal. Lots of it.

During rehearsal, it is okay to make mistakes. In fact, a lot of mistakes get made. Especially during the first few rehearsals. However, as more rehearsals take place, fewer mistakes are made. When the first night of the big show finally arrives, many of the things that could go wrong have already occurred and have been accounted for.

Our lives are no different. In order for us to be the best parent, or writer, or doctor, or religious leader, we need to practice at it. The difference between an inspiring performance and a mediocre performance is rehearsal. It comes down to what you are filling your time with between performances.

The only real mistake you can make when it is time to rehearse is not rehearsing.

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