‘The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.” –Sylvia Plath
Oh, Sylvia, you would have loved our rehearsal today! This was the first dress rehearsal, and the first rehearsal where we actually used the blood packs during one of the final scenes of the show. It is the Catholics vs. the Protestants, and it is so messy, and so cool, and epic in the truest sense of the word. We are marching toward each other in blocked lines, and as we cross in the middle of the stage, half of the choir is supposed to pop a blood pack and then die on stage. Awesome, right? Except that almost everyone completely underestimated how much force it would take to actually pop the blood pack, and so people were beating themselves in the chest repeatedly, with panicked looks that said “AHHH! It’s not working!”. These facial expressions were replaced with looks of relief as the blood actually starting pouring, which was a humorous disconnect to the actual action. Once the blood starting running, it very quickly got EVERYWHERE. Stephanie Council, alto and Westminster Choir graduate assistant, had a particularly challenging blood pack, and when she finally got it opened, it squirted straight into Mark’s mouth and across his face. Kyle Van Schoonhoven, tenor, watched this happen and couldn’t contain his laughter. Mark was sort of gurgling and trying not to swallow the blood while trying not to laugh. It was a pretty glorious scene.
The half of the choir without the blood later drags off the bodies of the bleeding, and the original plan was for the bloody to change quickly backstage so that we would all appear fresh for the final scene. Since the blood had popped and dripped and gushed in ways that were completely chaotic, almost everyone had to change. It was a mad dash to the dressing rooms, and about two minutes of absolute frenzy. It is moments like these that I am so thankful that we are a team – we are a family. We are bonded by our art, and so a crazy costume crisis turns into a time to help and laugh with one another.
After the rehearsal, a group of us gathered in room 403 (the Animal House – there are 8 expressive choir men in this suite) to begin watching Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition, of course). It was actually possible to discern the story between the quotes and laughter.