Wednesday, May 31, 2006

And Counting...

13 days of school

36 days until I leave for China

Sunday, May 21, 2006

And the curtain closes...

It is finally over...Charlie Brown closed last night. Even with the difficulties I had with the VD the show came off beautifully. I am so proud of my babies (not a senior in the bunch). They did a great job.

We were adjudicated last night for what is the equivalent of the Tony Awards for high school musicals. And the judges seemed to really like the show. That makes me really happy. Although my school is over 100 years old and used to have a huge, thriving theatre program they have never been involved with this awards program. So I was very happy to hear such good things from the judges, especially with such a young cast.

My Snoopy, who is just amazing, her mom doesn't like her doing theatre. Well, much to our surprise, mom was very proud of Snoopy, and even shed a few tears. That's one of the things I love about my job. When family finds out something about their kid that only I knew up until the show opened. Hopefully this experience will allow this girl to audition again next year (mom had previously said no more shows).

So, now I say farewell to Charlie Brown and move on to the next adventure...The Crucible maybe?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ten Things

10 Things I love About Opening Night...

10. The kids are all amped and excited.
9. Everything is more sets to build, props to buy or costumes to make.
8. I finally get reimbursed for all monies spent.
7. The air in my classroom is electric.
6. Baby socks...a tradition I started with the first play I ever directed, everyone gets a baby sock on opening night because nothing bad can happen when you have something so cute with you.
5. Telling parents how wonderful I think their kids are.
4. The look on some parents faces when I tell them how wonderful their kids are.
3. Tech kids getting as excited as the actors.
2. The Hugs...I get lots of great kid hugs on opening night.
and the number 1 thing I love about opening night...

The look on the kids faces during curtain call. They have never looked prouder of themselves than they do at that moment. That is the moment I live for.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The saga continues...

Show opens on Thursday, VD left rehearsal today at 6:30ish. This is the same man who wants me to put "Performing Arts Department" on all the stuff associated with the show. So, right now he and I are both playing the passive aggressive card (it's really not working for either of us). He wants "PAD" on stuff, I figure when he starts to take on more responsibility for the show, then I will change what I do. But I guess I should tell him that.

Most of the kids are on my side. I have talked to the principal, I went seeking advice and somehow it has turned in to him talking to the VD....which has me a little scared. I need to learn to deal with this stuff myself. Maybe I will tell the principal to not do it.

ARGH....someone give me some moxie! Please!!!!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

This and that...

Why is it that after you pay upwards of $50.00 to attend an event you still have to pay to park your car? I wondered this as I forked out $8.00 to let my car sit for two hours in a parking structure. It just makes the mind reel...the structure has been there for years, there are performances at the theatre almost every day for the entire year, it has to be paid for by now. The attendants don't really need to be in there, they don't direct traffic anyway. WHY AM I PAYING TO LET MY CAR SIT SOMEPLACE. Could someone please explain this concept to me.

I went to my first ballet last night. Sylvia performed by American Ballet Theatre. It was really good. I enjoy watching the amazing talents. If you have never been to the ballet and like stuff like that I recommend it. The strength these performers have is amazing.

On the opposite end of the spectrum I am going to a hockey game today. It's playoff season and a really good friend of mine, L, is a huge Ducks fan (I prefer the Kings myself), so I have found myself attending Ducks games during the playoffs. It's great fun and you get to see some great hockey.

The play opens in less than two weeks. I don't have all my costumes because I am waiting for them to come in from another school. I will call that teacher today to make sure I can get them on Monday, I don't want that last minute scramble. The rest of this weekend has been spend painting baseball hats to look like they are hand drawn, buying props and layin out the program. Ah, the joys of being a high school theatre teacher.

Friday, May 05, 2006

They finally get it...

My freshmen are understanding Romeo and Juliet! I am so excited. I didn't have to explain everything in the beginning of Act 2. You don't know what an accomplishment for these kids this is. Many of them are ELD or ELD transitional, they have a hard time with the literature sometimes. This made my "feel like jumping" day just a little bit better.

Ever feel like jumping?

Boy am I sounding like a whine baby right now. But then again a month's worth of insomnia will do that to a girl.

Today I found out that M can't do my lighting like planned. Now, why would you tell someone you could do something and then not tell your employer you need the day off. (This is not the first time he has done this by the way).

Now, I could do the lighting myself, I'm not very good at it, but I know what I'm doing. I just really don't like the 30-foot, broken ladder. I have sent out the battle cry of drama teachers everywhere - HELP! Hopefully someone will be able to come in and lend a hand.

I am not really mad at M about this. It is really more of a frustration...don't tell me you can do something and just hope your schedule doesn't change (this fiasco almost cost me $200 because I was supposed to rent a scissor lift-good thing I had waited until today). He did this with both of my cousin's weddings. He didn't bother to take the days off work, he just hoped he would be off after my RSVP that we were both coming. He had to come 1 1/2 hours late to one and left the other early. Now, that just makes me look bad, mainly because I put up with it.

So at this point in my day (and it's early) I feel like jumping off the theatre building. The kids told me to wait two weeks, until the show is over. The don't trust that the VD will show up to get them through it if I die. Gotta love the support.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

And the saga continues

So things got worse yesterday...the VD walked out of rehearsal because of a comment made by an actor.

See, I have staged the ENTIRE play without considering the scene change music becuase it never gets played during rehearsal anyway. Adding it is easy, you just adjust the staging. Well, the kids were going from one scene to another and did it just the way I have had them doing it for 2 months, and the VD says there is scene change music that he has to get in. So, the kids exit and get ready to make the entrance again, they wait for the music to stop, and then enter. The VD said something I missed because I was making a note, the kid replied with what I had told them, the VD said something to the pianist, picked up his stuff and walked out without a word to me.

Now, I am not sure exactly what happened other than that. But it kept me up all night. Mainly because if the VD is going to act this way how am I to know what is going to happen in the next two weeks.

Before all the drama happened I was asked if there was going to be video of arial footage for the Red Baron monologue and if I had it in the budget to hire more musicans. Now, we are two weeks out...if asked about this stuff 2 or 3 weeks ago I could have done something. I had to tell the VD that I hadn't rented the extra music because I did last year and we didn't use it, HE DIDN'T REMEMBER THAT IT WAS HIM AND THE PIANIST LAST YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!! He seemed a bit angry about this. I also said there wouldn't be any arial footage. He doesn't seem to understand I don't pull this stuff out of my butt!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I am such a wuss...

As you all know I have been having some issues with my Vocal Director (VD). He isn't as commited to this year's musical as I would like him to be. And now on top of that I have the issue of him wanting to do a show that I am not at all interested in doing, he has already talked to kids about doing it, as precasted several roles in his head, and doesn't seem at all willing to look at other shows with me to pick something we will both like.

So, being the wuss that I am I went to my principal. Not to tattle, but to ask for advice in how to talk to the VD about this without causing stress. Because let me tell you, every time I have mentioned to him that the kids don't know the music or that I feel stress from the show because of the music, things get very tense (to the point where one kid came up to me and asked if I had said something to the VD about the music because he seemed mad).

It feels like there is always something else going on that takes priority over the musical, I don't expect it to be his life, but could he at least be aware of the rehearsal schedule and try to work around that. That's what I do, but then again I make the schedule so that's a different story.

Anyway, back to my point (did I have one?)...I talked to the principal (who loves me) and asked if he had any suggestions on how to deal with this. I like the VD, he is a great guy. But, the musical is not another venue for his chamber singers (he told them that they are they only reason he does the musical and if they weren't going to audition then why was he doing it). The principal said he would talk to him if I wanted him to, I said I don't know. I don't want to make things worse or seem like a baby. I love my job, I want to do a good job at it. I don't want to make my job miserable by the VD feeling like I had to go over his head to get my way. It's not my way I want...I want us to work together so we can both enjoy working on the musical.

ARGH!!!!! Any suggestions on how to approach someone you respect about something you drastically disagree on and is really important to you? Help please!