(or a raspberry sound with your lips, the only sound possible after 6 hours of rehearsing?)
I do not recommend zero practicing for several months (um, when was my last orchestra set??) then practicing for 2.5 hours the day before a 6-hour Broadway show rehearsal. Ouch, ouch, ouch. You know you're out of shape when you're on par with your oboe method students in their lack of embouchure muscles while playing for less than a 50-minute class. I shouldn't use motherhood as an excuse to not practice, but I have not found a workable solution. Every practice session has been on a need-to-now basis. Orchestra set? Practice. (Actually, I felt really good about my prep for the last set.) Perform at Fortnightly (a ladies' social/musical group every two weeks--101st year!)--practice the one piece for that (1st & 2nd mvts of the Dring Trio for oboe/flute/piano). Cramming all my practicing for Mary Poppins into one session (with a few DVD study sessions--useful, but not the same as practicing, and in my house, with the two babies, it was impossible to play along with the DVD) was not a good idea. Well, it was an afternoon practice session on English horn and the evening on oboe. So at 9pm last night, my lips felt like they were going to fall off.
Now, I'm a good reader, and it's saved my butt on many occasions, but being a good reader will not help you with your endurance. We had our first two rehearsals today, 6 hours' worth. At the beginning of break in our first rehearsal, I looked over at my friend Sonja on flute and said, "I'm in serious trouble." It didn't help that the practice space (I won't say room, as it was the lobby of the hall) was absolutely freezing...winds were flat...biting up to pitch...further ouch. By the end of the first rehearsal, I had trouble smiling--I was just trying to stretch my face muscles. By the end of the second rehearsal, I had cut through a lot of my upper lip enough to draw blood, I now have a few blisters (I'm praying will just miraculously callous over by tomorrow morning--gross I know...it's a wind player thing...we're tough) on that inside upper lip, and my lips are very chapped and raw. Tomorrow is worse...9 hours of playing. I don't know how I'm going to make it.
To make matters worse, my inner klutz made its appearance today, and I took a tumble in the middle of the street. We were rushing back to the hall (er, lobby) after lunch, and we really had to run. (I'm also out-of-shape physically...I feel oh-so-good about myself.) I was running with two girls, both in better shape!! We were jay-walking/running, a car was coming (although the light was turning, so I don't want people to think I threw myself in front of oncoming traffic), so we ran faster. I wasn't wearing great shoes for running (read: heels), and I was carrying a heavy purse and tote bag (read: top-heavy). Right before I started to go down, I had this odd sensation that I was about to fall. I felt my upper body going faster than my legs could go, and boom, flat on my stomach in the middle of the street I went down, crashing mainly onto my left elbow and heel of my right hand. Left knee got some pavement too. Sonja helped me up, and I shook it off. When we got back to our seats for rehearsal (few minutes to spare--we were all almost late because of the restaurant, but we all beat the road musicians/conductor back anyway), I inspected my wounds. I had seriously scraped up my left elbow (right below), and a baseball size bump was starting to emerge. My right hand seriously hurt. With some first aid supplies from a road musician and Sonja (trust flute players to carry ibuprofen and antibiotic gel), I made it through the rest of rehearsal, and as I'm typing this, my arm just stings a little. I do need to go to bed early tonight to rest up for tomorrow!!