Friday, March 17, 2006

More Drama Drama

Ok, it's not actually drama per se. It's more like more theater jinxes, assuming you believe in jinxes. If you don't, then it's just more bad timing of everyday life. My latest project has been the direction of two youth theater shows...

This has been a bit of a rocky ride, albeit an enjoyable one. There have been communication problems, rehearsal space issues, transportation issues. We even accidentally cast two people in the same role. Through it all, the kids have been great. Even Josh. I think it is hard for him to view me as anything other than Dad. So, he can't listen to me as a director, no matter how much he may want to. Through it all, the kids grew and learned and we were marginally ready by opening weekend.

After rehearsals and pickups, I expected us to hit our stride on the second weekend. At least until the phone call came. "Hi. Amy has a high ever. She may have pneumonia. Can you pick up the boys and bring them to the show? I need to get her to the doctor." Amy either plays one of the leads or else four supporting characters. I got this call in the afternoon for a show with a 6 p.m. call. That double casting accident was looking fortuitous all of a sudden. So, I had to get help. Enter Maya. Even though she never went to rehearsals for the show and all saw it a couple of times, she managed to tackle the biggest of the four supporting roles and pull it off marvelously. The first night she did two of the four roles, but out of a desire to share with the other girls who had stepped in to help, she gave up one of them.

I was quite impressed with her for a couple of reasons. First was the whole no rehearsal thing. Second was how convincing she was in the role. She, an 8 year-old girl, had to play Mother to a much taller 13 year-old boy. And she really pulled it off. She had to do four performances instead of the usual weekend three, as well. We had a traveling performance at the Children's Museum in Escondido. It was pretty funny seeing Maya scolding Sammy for playing with the musical instruments in the museum. "We need to practice young man!" Then she led him away by the hand to the backstage area!

At any rate, all three last minute replacements did a great job! We had a traveling performance at the Library on Tuesday and Amy was better. End of story. Time to post.

But wait! As I drove to work on Thursday morning, my cell phone rang. There was a performance for a home school group that day at 10:30. "*cough* *cough* It's Amy. I'm really sorry. I'm having a relapse. I can't even get out of bed." Amy is one of the most dedicated and professional youth actors I know. If she said she couldn't, it was for lack of desire. I spent my commute trying to get Maya pulled out of school and tracking down my other saviors. They pulled it out and the show went great again. Hopefully, Amy will be well by tonight. If not, I have my stunt doubles. End of story. Time to post.

Or not! Last night at the pickup rehearsal, one of the kids from the other youth show was not at the pickup rehearsal. Turns out *she* is really sick now. She won't be at the Friday night performance. We are hoping that she can make it for Saturday. So, I need another stunt double. Maya to the rescue again! She started learning the lines at bedtime last night and was going to study them today.

She has really emerged through this process and established herself as a talented actress. I feel really badly for Amy and Angel. They both worked so hard. It stinks to put in all that effort and miss some shows. But I am glad Maya was there to help pull us up.
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