I love rehearsing.
Performing is wonderful too, of course, with its different kind of energy and buzz and that genuine excitement of being in front of an audience. And practicing of course has its place and satisfactions: when it's on track and going well it can be an almost meditative experience but, when things get frustrating, it can also lead to near-penitential acts of self-obsession, self-analysis and self-criticism! Kidding aside, that process is important since the analysis and critical faculty are vital to continued improvement and just plain "problem-solving" when working out the kinks in particular passages, but it's so solitary that it can sometimes lead to tunnel vision....
But rehearsal combines the best of both worlds: the "roll up your sleeves and get to work" aspect of practicing combined with the same kind of stimulation from other singers and musicians as performance, made even better by both the opportunity and encouragement to explore - and, let's face it, the knowledge that we get to do it again if necessary! It is truly one of the great joys of doing this singing thing for a living.
Singing through some of my favorite repertoire in preparation for a gala concert this weekend it was all I could do not to stand there with a silly grin on my face. I get to sing this stuff! With other great musicians! For money! Ok, sure, I have my snoop tape and tomorrow will take myself into the practice room to deconstruct and tweak all the things that didn't quite line up or that I didn't like, but this afternoon was just pure, musical pleasure.
In other news, could somebody tell me why children around the world seem to be incapable of handing their parents in a timely manner the assorted pieces of paper they are given at school, most of which have important dates and events on them?