Sunday, November 18, 2007

I survived!

It's over, done, finished, and best of all is survived and I'm not sick!

The show went off wonderfully. The audience really enjoyed the production and the kids were amazing. As wonderful as it all was I have one incident that has tainted the experience and has made it very difficult for me to ever cast a particular kid again.

Evidently there was a mild verbal altercation between him and two of the girls in the cast as they came back to the school for their call time. They started out making some slightly racial jokes back and forth (I don't really get that) and then all of a sudden he just flipped out on them. From the accounts I have heard he was participating in the joking, it wasn't like they started to include him and he was immediately offended.

They bickered back and forth for two hours and let it come to a head 2 minuted before the show was supposed to start. Literally, I was talking with audience memebers and my stage manager comes running up to me and says that I am needed immediately backstage. On the way he told me what was going on. I laid into the kids first about how this was stupid, that they had a show to do and they needed to get over it and give the audience what they came for, a great performance. Then I started calming them down. I was angry first because they needed to understand the gravity of the situation and what they were doing. This was on Friday.

Come Saturday I thought everything was fine when during intermission the SM cames to me again with a paniced look, it was starting again, only this time it was pretty much just the boy. He was getting in people's faces again and he shoved one of the freshmen girls (yes, we refer to them as a collective). I went back stage and just walked from group to group and told them the exact same thing, I didn't want to hear their side, that nobody was to be getting into anybodies face, that they needed to suck it up and get through the next hour and after that I didn't care if they ever talked to each other again.

After the show I talked with my AP who came to the performance and told her what was going on. After the Thanksgiving holiday she wants to talk to the girls who where involved and then she will meet with the boy. We are all concerned that it might escalate from him shoving someone into him actually hitting someone. And they are backstage by themselves, I may have to station a parent backstage from this point on.

This kid has pretty much sealed with fate for future productions. He is pretty much "drama" in every production he does (and not in the good way). I would rather not work with him and have a good experience then have kids quit the program because he makes them miserable and they can't work with him.

ARGH! The joy of working with teenagers.

Next on the school schedule: The Silly Project. My advanced students are creating a performance piece for the new Mentally Handicapped (MH) program kids. There are 11 MH kids now on our campus. The project is based on a project we watched a documentary about (Yellow Brick Road). We are going to get these kids on stage and see what they can do. We will be inviting a couple of classes , parents, administration and people from the district. It should prove to be a whole bunch of fun.

On the Home schedule: The rest of the day is devoted to recovering my house. It has just gone all bad with me being at school so much and M has actually had the nerve to tell me I have a lot of stuff to put away. I told him I knew and called him Mr. Obvious. So, while he is working today, I'm cleaning, doing laundry and looking for all the holiday stuff in preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Now, it's time to get some work done.

1 comment:

Lamar said...

I'm glad to hear your production went well--oh boy!

Where are you? I can't seem to find your e-mail anywhere on your blog. So drop me a note at thorpela@gwu.edu

Yes, I'm still at George Washington University, now I'm working on my masters degree (actually I'm a university FELLOW)--who would have ever thought, lol!!!

Anyway, again, I’m happy to see you're still inspiring young kids!!! Take care!!!

Lamar A. Thorpe