I Hate Practice

A Rhapsody On Rehearsals, Relationships and Rachmaninov
by Akira Nakano

Publisher: BookBaby

Publication Date: October 05, 2016

ISBN: 9781483583136

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Classical musicians are just musicians. Buttoned up and tuxedo clad on stage, behind the scenes, their lives can be as insane as rock stars'. I HATE PRACTICE - A RHAPSODY ON REHEARSALS, RELATIONSHIPS AND RACHMANINOV BY A CLASSICAL PIANIST was originally intended to a one man show. Except when I told my sister the plan, she immediately said, "But you're not funny." I completed a draft, excited to go into production, and then my director gave me notes. She was hoping to see more of a “play” with a stronger thematic through line. She wanted me to go deeper into the struggles of practicing and quitting the piano; and somehow, over the course of ninety minutes, find redemption. I had viewed the show as the opportunity to play some songs, get some cheap laughs and include a couple of way-too-politically-correct behind-the-scenes stories of concert prep. She wanted something stronger. Less gloss, less sanitized, less safe. Fine. Problem… I am not an actor. Meanwhile, one of my best friends from college read the script and made an off-handed remark that I should write a book. Suddenly, I could take the director's notes which were undeniably insightful, and save everyone the embarrassment of watching me “act”. I could talk about the extreme hilarity and epic failures during rehearsals. The perils of dating while prepping for a show. My love/hate relationship with Rachmaninov and the stupidity of putting up his “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” with full orchestra having played it in its entirety only one time before performing it. I decided not to go all the way back, but rather use one piece of music, "Totentanz" by Franz LIszt, as a marker for discussion at various performances over a span of twenty-plus years. I would have included Liszt in the title of the book, but Rachmaninov fit the alliteration better, is a far more vexing piece of music and was with me during the same time period. I am clearly procrastinating from the piano, as I HATE PRACTICE.