When you’re bored…

Thanks to Colin for sharing this letter he wrote to his talented niece who is having to sit and wait around in rehearsals for her school musical…

Dear N,

I’m sitting in a rehearsal with nothing to play and I’m bored. So I know how you feel and I’m pleased you are getting a sense of how much of your time will be wasted in this business … if you allow it to be.

Now, the challenge for you when bored, is to be curious.
Ask yourself questions.
Watch and listen to everyone.
Are they acting their parts well? What would you do differently?
Are they singing well? How would you want it to sound?
Are they moving well? How would you alter the choreography to fit with the mood and words of the music?
Are their accents authentic? Listen to some recordings of American actors on your headphones and apply the vowel sounds and inflections you hear to some lines in the show.
When the time comes for you to rehearse your part, you might well have a completely different production in your head!
All of that empty time will have been beneficial to you even if you don’t realise it yet and one day, it WILL all seep into your work.
Nearly everything one can learn about performance, can be learnt by watching and listening to others, whether better or worse. Get curious not bored.
(Just don’t rubbish everyone else’s efforts just yet…)

Love from Uncle Colin

PS Who is this Lady Ga-Ga I’m playing with today?…


Colin Skinner is a composer and one of the UK’s lead saxophonists, playing for the John Wilson and Syd Lawrence Orchestras¬†as well as enjoying a career in the West End of London.

22 June 2017