Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Joy of Live Theatre

I have been a "theatre nerd" my whole life. I'm such a nerd, in fact, that I spell the word with an "re" instead of "er" at the end because I think it looks cooler. Sadly, I don't get to perform on stage too often anymore (unless you count standing at the front of my classroom--which often IS like putting on a three-ring circus to keep the children awake and on task).

Once a year, however, I get to harness my inner performer and direct/facilitate the student talent assembly at my school. I have been working on this year's show for the majority of January, and our performances were Friday.

I am relieved that it is finally over, but I LOVE this experience. Despite the long hours of rehearsal and sometimes frustrating complications of getting everyone in the right place at the right time doing the right thing in the right way, the thrill of hearing the applause when the lights dim at the beginning of a performance is like electricity shooting through my veins. The immediate response from a live audience is exhilarating!

Now, there are some potential downsides to live theatre: like the fact that you can't just call "CUT!" and get another take if the first one doesn't work. You have to be able to cope with whatever problem might arise on a moment's notice. The whole goal is to make everything look as smooth as possible on stage so the audience has no idea what chaos is ensuing behind the scenes. Here are some of the FUN problems that came up this time (these did not all happen in the same performance, thankfully):

1) One boy's mom forgot to bring his guitar, requiring a frantic phone call home and all sorts of speed limits being broken.

2) One girl lost her sheet music, even though she "just had it a minute ago". Thank you to kind mothers who can drive to the school on a moment's notice.

3) The tech crew tried to use a new version of one of the minus tracks, but it WAS NOT the same song. It's always bad when you realize that AFTER you push play. Kudos to a girl who kept going even though I know she wanted to burst into tears and run off stage. (P.S. - Thankfully, she got a second chance at the second assembly, and it went really well)

4) One of the stage crew members was standing on the mircrophone cord so the performers were getting stuck half way across the stage and looking at the wings for help that never came because no one could figure out why the cord was so short.

5) One of the microphones cut out even though it was switched on...still not sure about that one.

6) A girl hit her electric violin on the music stand she was carrying and knocked it out of tune. Two minutes of off-key Bach is not pretty... (Thankfully, that was during dress rehearsal, not the show).

Despite all of this, after the show the students received countless compliments about how well they did and how much they all enjoyed the show. So, I guess no one noticed the frantic use of walkie talkies. That's the joy of live theatre!

P.S. - I'll post pictures from the show once I get them from my co-worker.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Welcome to a New Year!

I've been a little absentee for awhile, but I'm back in the blogging game for the new year now. Here's a brief update of what I've been up to:

*I went home to California for Christmas and LOVED having everyone home, even if only for a short time. It's wonderful to be blessed with a family that I just can't get enough of. We snuggled during many movies, made a gingerbread igloo, and enjoyed some wonderful food! Here's the igloo, complete with penguins!

*While in California, we celebrated Oma's 90th birthday. Here's the whole fam--all 24 of Oma's living descendants--crowded around her. What a woman! I admire her so much.

*I've been trying to keep on top of grading at school while acting as adviser for the student talent assembly. The show is a hodgepodge of a bunch of different acts--everything from stand up comedy to modern dance to classical piano. I LOVE this part of my job. It makes my life a little crazy, but there's nothing like spending an afternoon bonding with teenagers over spotlights and blocking. The whole thing will be over Friday, and I'll be happy to relax after that.

*I'm getting a new roommate this week. Thankfully, she's one of my best friends in my ward here, so I'm sure we'll get along just fine. I feel so blessed to live with my best friends right now! --At least all the ones who are in this state and not married :)

*Speaking of roommates that ARE married, Katie Johnson (formerly Barrus) had her baby boy on Monday morning at 3:08 AM. She and her husband, Drew, were at my house on Sunday night until 10:00, and she wasn't in labor then! Apparently, she wasn't feeling well when she went home that night, and 4 hours later...voila! She had her first child! I saw him last night, and he is SOOO cute.

So, overall, I've been enjoying being social and having lots going on to keep me busy. Life is wonderful. Hope your new year is getting off to a great start, too!