When we see Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle or John Leguizamo killing the stage it’s not luck, it’s not because they’ve been in the business for so long, it’s because they fucking rehearse! They work at their set, show or whatever you want to call it for hours until it’s in their blood. I had a love hate relationship with rehearsal because it’s like I knew I needed to rehearse but I also knew the work I had to put into it and wasn’t accustomed to putting in that level of work..until I was. I remember when it clicked over in my mind that I needed to rehearse like a beast in order to be able to not only crush that stage but most of all be prepared just incase anything unplanned was to occur.
I was performing The Closet Bitch show for my mother in my house and I can’t quite remember what happened but I drew a blank and had to refer to my script. So I thought an audience of 1, especially because it was my mother should be easy breezy but I fucked up! How? Why? Duuuh Shana! It was because I didn’t put in the work and run the show over and over until it became second nature.
So from that point on I’ve been a rehearsal monster. I even think I have room to rehearse more and want to because I like to be on top of my game. The only one on that stage to make the audience laugh, feel and take them on an emotional vivid journey is me. I have no scene partners. It’s just me and my wonderful light and sound tech, Leon Solomon. If he fucks up, I have to be so on point that I immediately find a way to fix it and not make it look obvious to the audience, which has happened and vice versa, which also has happened. Sometimes I like to call out the mistakes that happen but then get right back to the scripted story, beats and hit all my marks. Sometimes I like to engage with the audience and I can’t let that knock me off my boat either. I have to be so well rehearsed that I should be able to stop, change a diaper, make an announcement go get starbucks and come right back to where I left off. A winner makes sure they do everything in their power to win. Yes, sometimes shit happens but if you can help it, allow the shit to come few and far between. I love be comfortable and let go! The only way to do that is to have the words and beats in my veins.
This post is dedicated to all of the performers out there who love to leave their souls on the stage, let go and regret nothing! I see you baby!