Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Another Openin', Another Show

My dear faithful readers -

This will be a shorter post, I'm afraid. We have officially gone on spring break. I have just arrived in Grand Junction, stopping by on my way to Denver for the extended weekend. Thus my blogging will be rather intermittent for a while.
I realize I have not yet commented on the events of last week, i.e. my show. I will give you a much fuller account when I have a computer that works and time to do it in. For the time being, let me just say that it went remarkably well. No one was arrested, no set pieces collapsed (although one student did run smack into Whoville while making an exit Thursday night), in short, there were no exciting disasters. We made just over $6000 on this show, and had about 530 people attend each night (a large audience by KJHS' standards).

I hope this will suffice for now. I will tell you many, many more details soon, beloved readers, as well as an account of my adventures in Denver with Emily and Rachel.

Until then - adieu!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

One Day More

And so, faithful readers, we come to our final days!

Today (Tuesday) was our teaser assembly and final dress rehearsal. The assembly went pretty well. We picked the best 7 songs for that cast and ran them pretty much in the order they appear in in the show.
I was really happy with the teaser. The kids did a nice job and the audience was wonderful. They were engaged, receptive, and engrossed (a remarkable things when you remember that it was a junior high school crowd).
In between songs, I gave away a couple of sets of free tickets to the show to kids who could answer some trivia questions about Dr. Seuss (What book did Dr. Seuss write after his editor bet him to write a book with less than 50 words in it? What teacher at our school has the same birthday as Dr. Seuss? and Where did Theodore Geisel get his nom de plume from?) . That was a new thing this year, and I think it made show tickets a bit more desirable to the students.

It's hard to say this, but I am actually declaring the set finished. Maybe. Watching my drama classes do their monologues today, I kept looking at the set behind them, noting things to change: Rounding out that staircase on the backdrop, masking the curve under the Whoville platform, add some shadowing on the mountains, et cetera. Maybe if I get a chance tomorrow afternoon before the show, I will keep tweaking.
I was good today, though. After rehearsal, I only stayed for another hour or so to make a call, answer some emails, and to type up some cues. I was actually home by just after 8. Better, I let my stage crew go right after rehearsal.

I am tired, though. It was an early morning for me (I was at school by 6:45 to help my kids set up for the assembly), following a long week. I still like it, though. Moreover, I adore these kids. I love the devotion they are giving.

Here's an interesting side effect. I think that what with running around all day the past few weeks, I've lost some weight. At least, my pants feel looser on me. A good thing, yes, but the ill-fitting pants results in a frequent sensation that my zipper is down. When I hear kids snickering after I turn away from them, I worry about that. Granted, with a crowd like we had at the assembly, there were perpetual snickers that had very little to do with me. Still, I keep having to check my fly.
And you can tell that I've been spending way too much time in middle school when I find the possibility of embarrassing myself like that an interesting phenomenon. Oy.

Tomorrow it begins!

Friday, March 11, 2005

At the End of the Day

Look at me! I'm out of my school before dark. I will tell you this - it's weird. After working 14 hour days all week, it's odd to see sunlight.
I'm out early today because it was not a student non-attendance day. We actually scheduled two of our dress rehearsals for today so we could have some non-interrupted time to work with the casts. We ran the show twice, once with each cast. It's looking pretty good. The kids have found awesome costumes. Some of the leads have been dropping lines lately, which baffles me since they are lines I know they know. But it's coming together and I am optomistic.
The fish and hunch puppets are working well, thanks to the ingenuity of some of my Advanced Drama class. The shadow puppeteers need more time to practice with them. I hope that part comes together, since it could be nifty if it does.

We have gotten amazing support from some families this week. A couple of families have come in after practice and because of their help, we're actually almost done with the entire set! I haven't had to cut back any of the design. It's all cut and painted, so all we have to do is brace Whoville and mount the backdrop. The lights we're renting should arrive on Monday. Here's hoping they work.
Our lightboard went out earlier this week. No one knows why, although it did the exact same thing last year. Unfortunately, all of the programs were whiped out from the computer up there, too. Oh, and our sound system isn't working, either. So aside from not being able to see or hear the actors, everything's great!
I'm kidding. A little. Worse comes to worse, we can still do basic stage lights, we just can't do the effects we'd like to.
Apparently, I've taken to referring to myself in second person. Hmm.

So as we come down to the wire, my to do this for this weekend is:
-Make 3 Bird tails
- Sew some body mic belt packs
- Sew a field for the clovers
- Make the program
- Write Thank You notes
- Find some Thank You gifts

I was going to start on these projects now, but suddenly this week is catching up with me. I think I'll take the advice that a chorus of my kids shouted at me as I drove past them on the way home today: "Get some sleep!":)

Maybe tomorrow I'll write about some of the show dreams I've been having. ...

Au revoir!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Checking in to the "Maison des Lunes"

We preview in 1 week. Arg!

So. Last Thursday we did a set session. Our shop teacher, the stage crew, and a couple of awesome parents joined me on stage after rehearsal and we built the arch, the staircase, and some of the peripherals. One of the moms bought pizza for everyone, too, which was wonderful of her.

Friday, I ordered the paint, which I picked up this morning. 12 gallons - I hope I got enough. :)

Today, our shop teacher worked during classes and finished up some of the platforms extending from the archway. So, after rehearsal, three veteran students and I primed the set with paint leftover from previous shows. Tomorrow will be another group-effort set night, so hopefully we'll be able to pretty much finish it (fingers crossed!).

Speaking of today's rehearsal (Act 1 top to bottom with the assembly cast) - it sucked. (My vocabulary tends to descend the longer I spend at school. :) ) The leads did well for the most part. I could tell how much time they have been putting into this. The chorus did pretty badly, though. They didn't know the blocking or the choreography; they missed cues and entrances; when on stage, they just sat there with no emotion; and there were many times when 1 lead would be singing louder than the collective chorus.
So Janelle, Kelley, and I chewed them out. Guilt trip, yelling, disappointment, etc. Better to scare them into rehearsing well now than waiting until dress rehearsals, I figure. I don't like being the bad-mood teacher, but I swear they just don't seem to be motivated until we get really upset. I think the panic is setting in, though, and I hope they will pull it together. Tomorrow is Act 2 with the same cast. We'll see if they rehearse tonight!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

101 years ago today, Dr. Seuss was born - Yea!

To celebrate, we began selling our show pins yesterday - Yea!

In just two days, we sold enough pins to pay for the lights we want to rent! - Yea!

A fabulous parent arranged for a wonderful array of donations, so we're also doing a raffle for funds - Yea!

Another great mom has arranged for 10+ helpers to build our set tomorrow night after she picks up our wood for us - Yea!

After calling around I found the paint supplier for our school district, who offered to sell me paint for our show at district cost (almost %50 less than what I usually pay!) - Yea!

Parent-teacher conferences are through for another year, with my interviews being both complimentary and helpful - Yea!

Our poster is ordered, the kids are excited, and the buzz around school has started - Yea!

Our show opens in LESS than 2 weeks - Yea!

Yesterday, for the first time, I said the following sentence out loud and meant it - "I love my job."-

Yea. :)