by Brother Keith Becker
There is much confusion at times over the concept of practicing and rehearsing and I hope in this article to bring to light the truth behind each words meaning, how they are separate and different, and how the apply to each other. Simply put we should practice to gain the best proficiency in the part we are responsible for to ensure flawless execution in the rehearsal; which will then make for an even more flawless performance. A lot of the time is spent practicing at the rehearsal and this is wrong as it does not allow the director to focus on what he needs to in the rehearsal.
Practice, by definition, is the repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it. It is also a time spent to perfect the action you desire to learn, as well as, time spent learning by oneself. I would like to direct all the masons reading this to the word proficiency in the definition. After much practice we will perfect our parts and be ready to rehearse them with the group.
Rehearsal, by definition, is the practice or trial performance of a play, concert or other work for later public performance. Let’s point out that this is not practicing ones part, but combining everyone’s efforts in practicing into one larger practice of what should be the final product. A rehearsal should be performed with no or very little error or mistake, what you rehearse should be what you will perform on the night of the occasion. The director uses this time to put all the individual parts together in harmony and allow time to focus on the items that practice will not allow, like floor work or expression.
We must do our part to make diligent practice in the memorization of our parts individually, however in a masonic lodge we have faithful friends and worthy brothers to learn from and lean on in the assistance of learning the part. It should be your purpose to learn your ritual and seek out those Brothers either appointed to help or that may have done the part you are learning to help in your practice. By doing this we allow our rehearsal time to give better attention to floor work, delivery, transition points and other items that are not able to be practice.
Brother Keith Becker is the Lodge Coach at Queensbury Lodge 121 F & A M in Queensbury New York.