So everyone elses senior prokect ended Friday but mine ended today. It was a pretty tiring two days and I have mad respect for the people I work with. They are working these shows for three weeks and since there are three shows each day on the weekend they have to be there from 9-9. These six weekend shows were really nice and I felt 100% like I worked there because I knew at this point exactly how to do my work most efficiently and I know all the kids and they all knew me and I knew the show through and through and so it began to be fun even though it was a lot of work. Definetely this weekend I was given the most responsibility. I was in charge of selling concessions and delivering them and i was in charge of preshow prep and backstage alone which was nice cus I like a challenge. I also worked a bit more with the owner of POPS, Mark, and he began giving me some of the office responsibilities and I got closer with him. I honestly never wanted to work here and never imagined liking being back in the performing arts world but I ended up loving this experience and finding it really hard to leave having really connected to the ladies I was working with. I also think I learned a whole lot more than I expected too and I am grateful to POPS for the experience!
First, it has been pretty frustrating and tiring working this week. Like I mentioned before I have been working from 10-2 at the construction site then driving to POPs and working 3-9 there doing the Lion King shows. I also don’t have the weekend off and am working both days at POPS from 9am-8pm which is just a lot and it seems really unecessary to be working a 60 hour work week for something like this. Anyhow, it is show week at POPS which means we are starting to do some of the NINETEEN shows of the Lion King which calls for a hectic time. On Tuesday they were super sweet and excited and it was nice being back in the environment and feelings of opening night(although I of course refused to participate in a preshow that wasn’t at Vistamar). Today, the kids were so so annoying and this group really disrespect the teachers. Also there has been hella drama and it has been funny to watch. One girl told the whole class she likes this guy and explained dramatically how she interupted his soccer game to tell him they needed to talk since her “friend” told him behind her back that she liked him. Later, three of the girls were like telling this girl “isnt that the girl who is stealing your man” ahaha it was pretty funny to listen to. Also, during todays show backstage this girl whispered to her friends that she saw a penis(I dont even wanna know the details) and didnt realize that the audience could very well hear her which was amusing but embarassing. Anyhow during shows I do quickchanges (yuck, these kids dont know what deoderant is) and also set changes and before that I do facemakeup and help Hazel with costumes. This college girl Molly who would help me has been gone for surgery so it is kindve a lot of stuff but it is doable. After opening night, they all were drinking and it was funny to see them tipsy and it also showed me how close they are and how much they genuinely love each other which made the job seem worth it.
So this week I started working with Tim in the mornings to build the set for Camp Rock. I’m really happy my mentor gave me this opportunity because I am able to be in a construction environment and learn new things and get to see work actually being produced into something with purpose. Anyways, Andrew also works there with me and it’s just me, him, and Tim which is nice because it is a lot more laidback and relaxing than POPS. Also, Tim is super cool and pretty chill, he always fosters interesting and engaging conversations with Drew and I which is what great. He also does all the set work all on his own and mentioned multiple times not to enter performing arts and how the pay is pretty bad. I inculded some of the stuff the three of us built together. Also, it has been really annoying working from 10am-9pm straight because the construction job tires me and then going to show week at POPS right after is absolutely tiring.
The job has been getting more and more busy. Today, amidst making Rafiki sticks, I was ordered by Hazel to go pick up a baby Simba stuffed animal from someones house that she found online. She was concerned that it was a sketchy deal and had me go with Molly, a first year at Duke, in case we got kidnapped. Her words exactly aha. We make our way into a sketchy area and finally arrive at our destination only to find no parking, so Molly sends me inside to make the exchange. I knocked so many times and finally a big, built man opened the door only to get mad and tell me it was the wrong house and try the back. So I did because the show must go on and our makeshift Ariel doll had to go. I knock endlessly and no one answers til finally someone yells from the rooftop, literally, and gives me the doll in exchange for four dollars. When we got back the teachers were honestly surprised we made it back ahaha, anyways that was the excitement of today’s workday.
Today, they gave me more work which has been nice because I’ve been kept busy. It is kind’ve hard though because they will have me make costumes from like two little scraps and without giving any instruction or a picture of what they want it to look like. Either way, it has gone pretty good and been fun being forced to use more creativity and do tasks without a plan for what I want the end to be. I told one of the children that I have to blog for my senior project and he told me to include that his dogs name is Coral Mozarella and that he has 6 other animals but he has somehow managed to kill them (god bless these kids). Anyways, working with kids has been super fun but it is definetely frustrating doing tech week with so many children.
These kids are straight up mean. Today I was so annoyed with them because they were being so mean to each other and it was super interesting that these ten year olds were able to behave and participate in offensive thinking and actions from such a young age! Anyways, things got WILD because these two girls got in a fight backstage and one of them punched another girl’s stomach so hard, it was like WWE back there. Then, Chloe was like can you facepaint the 21 children and also they need to be done in like less than 40 minutes. I was so shook because I am indeed not a party clown so I don’t know how to facepaint. But, as time proceeded it got easier and now it’s pretty fun to see how cool the kids think it is. I included a pic of a girl who was supposed to be Zazu just in case someone wanted to hire me for a party.
On my next day of senior projects, I was greeted again by all the children I met yesterday. This time I taught them how to play the intro part for a song on the drums(I cannot play the drums nor did I know this part until like a minute before). Next, we went over “Hakuna Matata”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, and “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”. We practiced blocking, I ran lines with them, and I taught some of the kids choreography. It was really fun being put in the role of a teacher because I get to learn a lot of things along the way (I also filled in for the role Simba today which was quite humorous) . Also, the children are all super sweet and they say funny and interesting stuff so the job is never boring. I also realized Hazel, our choreograhper from Chicago, works with these kids so it is nice to have a familiar face around. Anyways, that is all for today I’ll share more as it comes.
I forgot to upload my notes from my first day so here they are 🙂 I am working with Puttin’on productions which I literally found Tuesday (sorry Ms. Gumina) and had absolutely no idea what to expect. I arrive and boy was I overwhelmed, but also pretty suprised. As I got there, my mentors Chloe and Chantelle gave me the scoop on the play they have been working on since January, The Lion King. I immediately helped them put together costumes while we had a meeting on my abilities and what I’d be helping do (they asked me if I could do Lion and Hyena makeup as if it was a common skill). They warned me that it is really difficult putting on productions with children who are in Kindergarten so I expected the K-2 group to be a lot worse than the 2-8 group. Overwhelmed by all the new information given to me, a scurry of children entered the room, all with entirely different personalities. For today, I just observed and did paperwork so I can get the hang of what the teachers do so that I could begin to teach next time. I was utterly suprised by how much the five year olds knew, they were a whole lot better than the older kids and pretty mature. That being said though, you could barely tell what the play is because obviously they can’t remember lines but it is still very cute and far more than I can do at the age of five. Overall, I am glad that I am working with this company. The environment is fast-paced and tiring but I am happy to be doing something other than admin work and to be back in the world of theatre for a bit, even if it isn’t something I am interested career wise.