This blog was written by Burning Hill Singer Delanie Wiedich. It is her first blog in a series of blogs from North Dakota Burning Hills Singers.
It is a beautiful May morning when I wake up in a hotel bed in Plymouth, Minnesota. I lay there for just a moment, trying to wrap my head around what is happening.
Within the past 24 hours my world has been flipped upside down; I have turned 18, left my hometown, said goodbye to my friends and family, not quite completed high school, and am starting my first professional job as a Burning Hills Singer in the Medora Musical. Panic is about to set in when I rip myself from the comfort of my bed and dress myself for the day.
Never have I been so worried about what to wear! I call my new friend and coworker, Damon, and ask what he is wearing. We both decide on jeans and a T-shirt, and to pack extra clothes that are more appropriate for dancing.
I am in awe of Chet and Candice, who were always some of my favorite performers over the years.
At 8:00 we leave our rooms and jump into a white van filled with unfamiliar faces and we zoom off to the rehearsal space.
Once we arrive, I find my seat among the twelve in front of the piano. Everyone talks among themselves, but I sit in silence as I take in these faces I have seen so many times, but from so far away. I recognize Kevin, the blonde man with the strikingly sweet smile, almost immediately. The little blonde soprano to my right I recognize from 2012 and I am in awe of Chet and Candice, who were always some of my favorite performers over the years.
We quickly introduce ourselves then get to work. The process of putting the music together is much like a puzzle, with each vocal part being its own piece in creating an entire project. We plunk out each note, and then piece it together creating tight harmonies with a beautiful and unique blend.
It isn’t until after lunch, when we start to learn our choreography, that I learn that the music is part of an entirely different, and much larger puzzle that creates the Medora Musical. As our fearless and fabulous choreographer, Bo, begins to teach us our dance numbers, my head starts to swim.
I feel overwhelmed and a beat behind and I try to will my body and brain to work simultaneously.
It takes every bit of concentration I have left to remember the steps, counts, formations, then put it all together. I feel overwhelmed and a beat behind and I try to will my body and brain to work simultaneously. Taking deep breaths, I do my best to keep moving and ingrain the choreography into my muscles.
Throughout the day, I begin to pick up on new lingo! Whenever we are given a five minute break, we respond with a “Thank you, five” or when Bo says, “Command Save” it means “Do not forget this!”
Just how much is there to “command save” for the Burning Hills Singers? Take a peek for yourself.
Once we are dismissed at 5:00, the cast heads back to the hotel for dinner and then we quickly retire to our rooms for the evening. I can not believe how physically and mentally exhausted I am!
I lay down in my bed as my feet throb and my head feeling as if it is about to burst. But underneath it all, I feel exhilarated! I’ve done it! Not only have I survived my first day of adulthood. Not only have I conquered my first day of rehearsal. Not only have I pushed myself beyond what I once thought were my physical and mental boundaries. But I have taken the first step on the journey of a lifetime, and I can not imagine being anywhere but where I am at this very moment.
I fall asleep that night with a smile on my face as I dream of what adventures tomorrow has in store.
Delanie grew up in Hazen, North Dakota. She attended Governors school for the Performing Arts, played the role of Eponine in Sleepy Hollow Theatre’s production of Les Miserables and will be attending MSU Mankato as a Musical Theatre major in the fall.