Triple Threat

Have you ever heard of the term triple threat?

No, not that triple layered chocolate mousse cake with the ganache icing and chocolate biscuit base.

No, not the punishment your parents declared they’d unleash if you did that thing you really weren’t supposed to do.

No, not living under a local/state/federal government all of one political persuasion that you don’t support.

I mean the one in theatrical terms. A triple threat is someone who can act, sing and dance. Think Hugh Jackman.

Mmm… Hugh Jackman…

(The #1 pick in this list is also one of my favourite clips. Definitely worth finding to watch the whole thing.)

The musical movies of the 1940s and 1950s were obviously full of triple threats – Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds (yes, okay, so my favourite musical film is ‘Singing in the Rain’), Judy Garland, Doris Day, Fred Astaire. (Did you know Fred Astaire’s first screen test report read “Can’t sing, can’t act, can dance a little”?)

Just imagine being able to do all three of those things.

Imagine having to audition for a musical by doing all three of those things.

I don’t need to imagine it. I did it.

Correction: I tried to do it. I am not a triple threat.

If the reactions of the production crew are anything to go by, I think I can act and I can sing (I have a piece of paper to prove it) but I most definitely cannot dance (and I knew that going into this exercise).

Back in the dim dark ages when I used to do musicals, you didn’t have to be a triple threat. If you were happy to plonk yourself in the chorus, you didn’t even have to audition. As long as you could sing in tune and move about a bit, you got the gig. You only had to audition if you wanted a part. And you only had to dance if you wanted to be one of the dancers.

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HMS Pinafore with my sister and brother-in-law in 1984. No dancing required.

Sometime in the last thirty years, things got more competitive and now most of our local theatre companies require you to audition with the triple layer horror cake of acting a monologue, singing a song and demonstrating some dance moves even if you just want to be in the ensemble.

I don’t know why I do these things to myself.

Really, I just wanted to go back to theatre so I could hang out with a group of great creative people again after a three year absence. I could have just volunteered to work backstage and skipped the humiliation.

But being a Jack of All Trades has always meant having a crack at almost anything so that’s what I did. I had a crack.

And cracked the egg all over my face.

Side Show title

I didn’t get in. Unsurprising really. Unlike poor acting or a weak voice, bad dancing can’t be hidden even in the chorus.

So I have two choices. Wait for a musical that doesn’t require dancing (perhaps an ensemble in wheelchairs) or move on to trying out for straight plays and think about other ways to push my voice.

Either way, there are boundaries to be pushed and comfort zones to be breached and this Jack of All Trades will always be ready to have a crack at something.

With a cloth handy to clean up the egg.

 

34 thoughts on “Triple Threat

    • Funny you should say that. I nearly added a line that on checking out the cast, I seemed to be a) out of my league (it’s full of full-on theatre types) and b) at least 20 years too old. But it seemed a bit whingey so I deleted it.

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  1. This is the noo H, who will not scarify herself unnecessarily …
    “Unlike poor acting or a weak voice, bad dancing can’t be hidden even in the chorus.” ?
    I’d rather you’d said something like “I can act; I can sing. I just can’t dance: don’t ask me.”
    [grin]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you tried (I would never…) and I wonder about the “we want all three” attitude. That seems a bit much. As for the performers you listed, all faves and ‘Singing in the Rain’ is one of my favorite movies ever.

    I do like Maggie’s idea for a one woman show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I miss the old days when you didn’t have to be a committed theatre tragic to be part of things. Also people used to mostly stick to their own theatre companies whereas now they move from company to company so many of the same people pop up in all the major roles. Still, have to start somewhere and I’m still hoping there’s a place for me somewhere.

      I use the Good Morning song from Singing in the Rain as my morning song I sing to my class(es) at work. With modified words- Good Morning, Good Morning, It’s good to be at school, Good Morning, Good Morning to you, [sing student’s name]. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t know that is what triple threat meant. At least you tried, and for that you got a good blog post out of it. Maggie’s idea is a good one. Perhaps you could redefine triple threat to include three things you’re good at and make that the theme of your show!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny you should suggest that because it’s a factor I’m considering. 😊

      You have to be in it to win it as they say and even though I knew my chances were slim as soon as I learned there would be a dance audition, I still felt I had to push on with the Try.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You are a wonder Heather. I imagine if you set your mind to dancing lessons you could be a superstar there as well. But it’s kind of nice to know there is one thing you aren’t fabulous at. I applaud you for constantly pushing the boundaries and not being afraid to try. It makes me realize that I keep pretty much in a comfort zone.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I did know. I am not a triple threat, either. I can sing and dance, but my acting is terrible. I am best cast as an audience member.
    But see, I don’t even try out, so you know — You Did It. Hurrah you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I always come away from a wonderful musical theatre show thinking how much fun all the participants must have. Singing and dancing together and then acting as well – they are very talented. Perhaps you should consider starting up your own little theatre company. That way you could dictate the shows you do and what part you’d like to play.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. That’s what I love about that Hugh Jackman video of the song from The Greatest Showman – they all look like they’re having the best fun! That’s a good thought you have and it’s often how local theatre companies start – with someone wanting to do the shows they want to do. Unfortunately I am not the leadership type so running my own would be a Not Good Idea. There’s so many companies in this town, I’m sure I’ll find one where I belong. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I urge you to NOT GIVE UP on dancing. I’ve never been a dancer. The idea of being on the stage acting doesn’t scare me (and I make presentations all over about writing and publishing). The idea of singing is out of the question (even my dog leaves the room when I try), but dancing is doable. When desperately searching for a good exercise class that didn’t include weights or mindless repetitive boring workouts, I found a dance class called NIA (sort of like Zumba, but no jumping around hurting joints in this dancing). We neophytes (from the ages of 20 to 85) dance to hip hopping and rock and jazzy music for an hour, full sweat, and find out WE CAN DANCE!
    I think even Hugh (love him also) would approve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Joanne, you always make me laugh! 😀
      I actually asked a guy at work who teaches dance where would be a good place for a klutz to try to learn how to dance. He says his studio does adult dance classes for beginners. Whether I have the cojones to follow it through is another matter entirely….

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      • I’m sceptical. They say ‘for beginners’ but I’ve been to this rodeo before. Until they say ‘for klutzs’ I know I’ll not fit it.

        Years ago when step classes were the hot thing, I fell off my step and body-checked the woman beside me. Let’s just say she wasn’t impressed.

        That was the end of my experiment with step classes.

        Liked by 1 person

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