Being an understudy can seem like it's the "easy" job. You get to add something to your resume and not actually have to do much work.
Except when you do. And you have to be prepared, even if you don't expect to be called to sing.
I'm currently the understudy to Magda Sorel in Menotti's The Consul with Transgressive Theater-Opera and Acting Out tonight. It's a very big role, and it's been a dream role of mine since I found out that this opera exists. Tonight is a concert performance, so there's no staging. It's also a benefit for two local immigration nonprofits here in Chicago. So it's for a good cause and it's good people and my friend Jessie Oliver is amazing (she is singing the role of Magda), but she got sick last week and I had to go on for the dress rehearsal on Labor Day. It was terrifying. It's a good thing I did my homework because I did know my music and was prepared as I could be, but to go into a full run with no rehearsals is always a tricky proposition.
Luckily, Jessie is feeling better today and will be able to go on this evening, but this experience made me very glad I don't take my musical responsibilities lightly.