We decided to hold a meeting with everyone involved in the number so we could make sure we were all on the same page and so we could catch up with each others progress as at th moment it was very much the waitresses and the dancers working separately rather than collaborating. As well as this Lucy, who is doing the production side of this song, wanted to talk to us about our costume needs and ideas that we had been discussing in our group chat prior to this. Sian, Emma and I wanted to express all our ideas for choreography and how we wanted to keep it quite minimal rather than full on routines (apart from the dance break section) and that the movemts should be really stylised.
One thing we needed to clarify was whether the number was a set number been performed in the club or whether it was sung as our characters. In a previous conversation between Emma, Sian and I we decided that the song took place as a way of Sian and I encouraging Emma to have more fun and let go and enjoy her freedom now she in single and so sing the song in a slightly mocking and jokey way, just as our characters mucking around. However we felt that the dancers should be performers from the club performing on the stage as an act, and that us waitresses are simply having fun joining in. I think this is a really clever way of getting the balance between diegetic and non diegetic performances in the club, and avoiding songs just happening for the sake of it. I think it also gives a legitimate reason for the dancers to be part of the number, as otherwise it could seem quite forced and not make sense narratively.
For this reason we all felt the dancers should have ‘showgirl’ costumes as dancers in the club, while Emma, Sian and I will stay in our waitresses uniforms. We had briefly discussed the dancers costumes before now and they all were enthusiastic to have stylised costumes such as corsets, which the dancers were exploring the idea of ordering especially for the show, however Lucy reminded them that we don’t actually have a budget and that this would mean that they would have to use their own money to purchase the costumes if they wanted them. So I suggested that they raided the costume cupboard in the dance department and tweed house to see if we have anything similar already available that we might be able to use: Everyone was in agreement that this was probably the best idea. Thankfully after searching through the costume cupboard the dancers found something suitable that was similar to what we had discussed and looked very stylised: a skirt with red and black colours and frills and a corset style black top.
As for the waitresses uniforms, we had formally discussed just having basic black skirt, white shirt and apron but we thought that was a bit boring and made it seem quite like a restaurant or something similar and not a night club, and so wanted to explore other options. Lucy suggested we used the dresses that were used in a previous college production, ‘New York state of mind’, as they had several of the same dress so we would still all be matching. We also thought that this might be better as it would fit the classy, night club feel better than the generic waitress costume. There were two versions of the dress we could choose between, a dark blue sparkly dress or a black and silver sparkly one (both in a similar tight fitting style with threequarter sleeves). Emma and Sian were swaying towards the blue ones, however my only worry about using these ones was that they were quite short and when our waitress aprons are put on over top it might make it look like we are wearing nothing underneath! This is obviously something we need to test out and see when we have the aprons, and then we can make our decision as to which we use.
While the dancers went off to figure out some ideas for the choreography in the dance studio, Emma, Sian and I decided to go through the vocals of the song as although we had discussed it a lot we had never actually sung through it out loud together before. Although everyone knew roughly what they were doing I don’t feel that it was the best rehearsal as it ended up being more of a mark through rather than a full out sing through and that Emma and Sian held back a little. I don’t know whether this was because they were embarrassed to sing in front of me or whether they hadn’t yet had time to learn the song confidently however I’m sure that in time it will come on and grow in confidence and conviction. I might offer Emma some one on one time with me to go through the vocals as the song is quite a big sing and I know that she isn’t necessarily the most confident or experienced singer and that she might need some help with vocal technique. However I obviously don’t want to get in the way or for her to read into this in a bad way, so I am slightly apprehensive about approaching the subject.
Here is is a video of the dancers teating out some choreography ideas: