My last day at WNS was Friday, which was also the day of the show. It was a long day for me, as I woke up at 6am to get there on time, but luckily I had a long break in the middle of the day where I left WNS.
On this final day is when I felt like I actually made a break through with getting to know the kids. It was good and bad because it was my last day, but I am also glad I made a break through at all.
The show went well and the kids really stepped up their energy during the two performances, although I still feel like they could have done more. One of the teachers/administration talked to me and Brendan after the first show, asking if we had encouraged the cast to be more energized. Duh, of course we had only like twenty times. But still, half of them looked like their puppy had been stolen.
After this experience I am definitely considering going back in the future to help with productions, and definitely not considering becoming a teacher.
The last words uttered by Dr. Cameron, the director, over the microphone as her herd of pre-teens inhale pizza after a 5 hour rehearsal. I am sitting in the last 15 minutes of rehearsal for the day after we just finished our first run through!! Not going to lie, it was rough but I have complete faith that this show will be awesome by next Friday when they are set to perform. Being on the other side of things has been fun since I have always been either onstage or backstage. However for this show I have been front and center, taking notes, putting on mics, and frequently yelling “SMILE” to the cast during songs. We have 3 rehearsals left until the show, so it’s going to be tight getting everything perfect, but it’s doable. I’m am definitely looking forward to this long weekend after so much time with 50 middle schoolers that have endless amounts of energy.
We are officially in what would be considered tech week of the show which means not only are we (and by we I mean the kids as I videotape like a crazy stage mom) practicing on the stage but Brendan Craig has joined tech crew. Now if you thought Brendan was famed at Vistamar, you should see him at WNS. For the entire 3 hour rehearsal he had his duo – Nina and Alex – following him around. As Brendan rolled his eyes for probably the 15th time, you could see the little glimmer in the eyes of these two girls as if they were talking to a celebrity. It was adorable. Of course Brendan pretended to be annoyed.
Anyways, being in a middle school rehearsal is much different than rehearsals at Vistamar. For one, there’s a lot less yelling. Which is good because no one likes to be yelled at, but on the other hand, a little fear helps the creative process move right along. Also, you never realize how much cursing goes on in rehearsals until you are surrounded by 12 and 13 year olds who gasp when you say “crap”.
We made it through 1/3 of the show, which is pretty good. Six more rehearsals until show day!
The rest of my week pretty much consisted of the same couple of things. I observed some classes, met the rest of the students, and did inventory on costumes. At this point I am also done with inventory on costumes. That means that once I am finished I will move onto inventory of other things, if there is time.
Thursday afternoon started the first rehearsal (that I have been to) for High School Musical. During this rehearsal, the cast focus mostly on dances as they have already blocked scenes. I filmed a bunch of rehearsal for a video I am making for my mentor – Dr. Cameron. It was interesting being on the outside looking it — I could definitely tell which students really loved and cared about the production, and which students just kind of showed up because they thought it would be cool. For as young as they are, I could see some huge potential in a lot of those students, and overall it is a very talented group. This next week will all be rehearsals for HSM, and I can’t wait to see the show come together.
Dear Ben, Nicky, Donovan, and Mason,
My favorite part of my first day at WNS was seeing the photos of you from your 8th grade production (see below). Judging by the photos, I am sure it was a brilliant show!
Skipping over the rest of my first day (because what can beat some 8th grade photos of your classmates?) came the first day meeting students, complete with a lovely group of very sassy and very loud 7th graders.
My day started out with a class of 8th graders (thank god), and if you have ever worked with middle schoolers you know the difference between a group of 7th graders and 8th graders is remarkable. Their current unit is monologues, so class consisted of getting into small groups to practice. As I was walking around the room observing them, I began to think about all the monologue work I did in Mr. Blaine’s classes, and wondered which students would do the same work in the coming years at Vistamar.
Next came the terror of 12 and 13 year olds. It was after lunch, which can alway be rowdy, but this was unreal. After Dr. Cameron corralled some stragglers, they began their moment of meditation, but not before Dr. Cameron repeated instructions upwards of five times. Before introducing me to her class, she asked if any of them were interested in knowing who I was. After a couple blank stares came too many “no”s — ouch. Did they hate me already or was this them trying to show off?
As class went on some of them warmed up to me, asking me questions about what shows I have been in. I could tell this was their attempt to size me up, but luckily my answers impressed them. After a few short conversations, I escaped back into my solace of organizing costumes. Seventh graders are rough.