Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm a Nerd

I admit it... I'm a nerd. I mean, I'm OK with it, but I definitely am one. And here is exhibit #4197 to prove my point. The other day I was riding my bike to school, and it was so beautiful outside. Everything was green and blooming and fresh. All these thoughts were bouncing around my brain, and they turned into a haiku poem (yes, you read it right... I wrote a haiku while biking to school in my atrocious silver bike helmet).

A pink tulip tree
Against a brilliant blue sky.
Spring's birthday party.

I love this time of year. :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Great Weekend

Jeff & Duane were here this past weekend, and we had a great time. See Jeff's blog for all the juicy details. http://snarky-librarian.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weekly Update

Last night was our first Thursday show. We had a small but enthusiastic crowd. I was really happy because my dad and stepmom were there, along with some other members of our church. I think they really liked it. My dad doesn't come to all of my stuff, so it really means a lot to me when he comes.

Jeff & Duane are coming to see the show tomorrow afternoon. Yea! Then next Friday, my stepdad Mike & his wife Betty are coming to the show too. All of them will be coming to the FA&CC for the first time. I can't wait for them to see it!

My 6th graders are finishing up their independent research projects; my 7th graders are making their own stop-animation movies (I wrote a grant for the software in the fall), and my 8th graders are working on historical documentaries. Half my day is highly dependent on technology, so that makes things interesting, to say the least.

Guess that's about all the news that's fit to print. TGIF!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's Like a Monday!

It feels like Monday today since this is my first school day this week. I attended a conference on underachieving gifted students on Monday and Tuesday in Iowa City. It was a good conference with a lot of helpful, interesting information, and the speaker is a leader in the field. But, it was basically two whole days of her standing at a podium and talking at us. It was a lot of information to take in... my brain hurt when it was all said and done.

Monday night was the first night of Pippin rehearsal. I had a pleasant surprise... my friend Tom and I are going to be the Lead Players. The Lead Player is the role that was done by Ben Vereen. We're going to split the lines and do the songs in harmony. I'm really excited!

Tonight after school, I have a radio audition for FTD. It's a radio commercial for Mother's Day flowers. I did a spot for Maverick Trucking Company a couple of weeks ago. Radio voice-overs are super fun and easy to do. I almost feel bad for getting paid to do them... but not that bad. ;)

I survived 5th grade orientation last night. It was actually painless, so I shouldn't have griped. I'm going to have a small 6th grade class next year... I think only 8 students. But, the class after that is already up to 20, so that's good news. Can you say job security?

Last night after orientation, I walked with my friend Stephen, and then we went over to some cast friends' apartment just to hang out for a little bit. It's kind of like we all had withdrawal from being apart since Sunday. That will end tomorrow night when we perform though, and we'll have a busy weekend with 5 shows. I hope our attendance is better... come see the show!!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekly Update

Well, the show opened, and it was AMAZING!!!! Our audiences, however, though very enthusiastic, were quite small. Sigh. Come on, Iowa! You don't need to wait to hear from every neighbor's uncle's mother-in-law that the show is good before you get off your butts to go see it! OK, I'm done venting.

The BEST part of the weekend was having Tracy here for opening night. We figured out that she hasn't seen me on stage since Mame, and that was in 2000, I think! We went out with the cast to Vivo after the show, and then we went over to Gay's house (she's our assistant director and my good friend). It was such a fun night. She left when I had to go to the theatre on Saturday, so it was a short trip, but so fun. I miss her already!

Yesterday was really intense with two shows, but the thing about this show is that it moves so fast, you don't even have time to think about being tired. Who am I kidding? You barely have time to think about catching a breath! We do it without an intermission, so it chugs right along. I'm so proud of it!

Today after our show, we grabbed some lunch from Hy-Vee and took it to Chautauqua Park to eat. Most of the cast was there. We tossed around the football (I was tackled by a stationary barbecue grill... don't ask), and laughed and had a general good time. All the young 'uns are having a game night tonight, but I have excused myself from the festivities. I have to leave the house at 6:30 tomorrow morning for a conference in Iowa City. So I'm at school now, getting ready for my sub. It's a two day conference, so I have a lot to plan. Luckily, Gay is my sub, and she's been in my classroom a lot, so it won't be too stressful... I hope!

Rehearsals start tomorrow night for Pippin. I hate this whole setup of going to the first rehearsal to find out what part you have. A little too much drama for my taste, but oh well. I definitely don't have my hopes up because there's just not a good part for me in the show. I'm just excited to be part of FACT's first show on the Sondheim Center stage.

Tuesday night I have to be at school for 5th grade orientation. I haven't had to do it in so long because I haven't had 6th graders. I understand the need for it, but it was never one of my favorite things when I had to do it before. I'm going to try to have an attitude adjustment before then. :)

Wednesday night I have a FA&CC theater programming committee meeting and then church choir.

Thursday we start up again performing. We'll have 5 shows this weekend instead of 4, so it will be busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

1st Attempt at Video Uploading... Keep Your Fingers Crossed!

Here's the Godspell commercial that's been on TV. It's my song! It's also my first time uploading video, so I hope it works!

video

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blessings

1. Last night was my last meeting as Co-President of Delta Kappa Gamma. I've learned a lot, and I've been proud to be an officer because I really believe in what Delta Kappa Gamma does to promote women educators. But... ;) ... I'm really glad my work load is going to decrease a little!

2. I know you're probably all sick of reading about the show, but I really have Godspell on the brain right now. We had a very productive rehearsal last night, and I think we're going to be 100% ready to open on Friday. I can't wait for you all to see it. I'm having a BLAST!

3. I got an e-mail from my brother yesterday... unsolicited! Amazing. And, he's working! And, he's going to try to get the day off and be there for our dad's surgery in May. Wow! Maybe things are turning around for him, I hope!

4. Tracy will be here on Friday to see Godspell. It will be a short visit, but I'm so excited to have her here!

5. Jeff & Duane will be here the next weekend to see Godspell. They're also going to catch the high school's Little Shop of Horrors, so it will be a full weekend of theatre for them. I'm so glad that they're coming down!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Intense Experience

I had a very intense experience this weekend. I was in rehearsals for Godspell basically all weekend... 7-10:30 on Friday, 10:30-4:30 on Saturday, and 1-9:30 on Sunday. We got a lot done, but that also leads to exhaustion and all that goes with it.

During our Sunday rehearsal, Ryan (who plays Jesus, is our dance captain, and who is also the technical director of the theatre) just was a little off. He wasn't remembering dance steps very well, and he wasn't retaining blocking. As the afternoon went on, it was clear that he hadn't been working on lines. He was blanking out like crazy. Randy, our director, was getting progressively pissed off. Ryan just couldn't get it and was saying, "I'm sorry," over and over again. It was a little uncomfortable for all of us.

Randy lit into Ryan at one point, saying that he'd been cast for over three months... way before any of us were... and that he couldn't believe he didn't know his stuff at this point. He kept going on and saying that he'd picked the show because he thought Ryan would be able to handle it. It was terrible. The angrier Randy got, the worse Ryan did. I thought he was going to cry at one point. I hate that kind of confrontation anyway, and we were all tired and frustrated. It just wasn't good.

Randy finally just stopped rehearsal and told Ryan to go out in the hall and wait for him. When they were gone, we all ran for our scripts to start cramming so the same thing wouldn't happen to us. Everyone was in panic mode. Randy came back in alone and gathered us around. He told us that Ryan didn't think he was going to be able to do the show. Randy said he'd thought Ryan was ready to handle it, but obviously he wasn't. Randy asked us to take 5 while he got on the phone to L.A. to contact some actors who had played Jesus in the past to see if he could fly one of them out Monday to fill in.

Well, I was sick. I just had this terrible "pit in my stomach" feeling. Everyone was just staring at each other for a bit, all bug-eyed and confused. I've done tons of shows with Ryan, and I just couldn't believe this was happening. Randy came back after a few minutes and told us he'd contacted a friend of his who was trying to book a flight for Monday to come here. Randy wasn't sure in what capacity Ryan would stay on. He wasn't sure if he'd be remaining as dance captain or as technical director of the theatre. I don't think anyone even breathed.

I was ticked. I couldn't believe Randy was making that decision. As a board member, I didn't know how we'd afford to bring another actor in. I also felt so terrible for Ryan. I just was flabbergasted. No one spoke. Randy asked us if we wanted to say anything. Still, no one spoke. The tension was palpable. It was awful.

Randy just kept looking at all of us. I don't think I looked away from him at all. It was so uncomfortable. I didn't know how we were going to have a show. We open this Friday! We hadn't even blocked everything at this point. And we were losing our lead??? our dance captain??? possibly our technical director??? It was sickening.

Finally, after an eternity, Randy spoke. He told us that what had just happened was an acting exercise and that none of it was true. Ryan was still with us and had been screwing up all afternoon on purpose. My reaction was so odd... I burst into tears! I had to leave the room and pull myself together. I still don't totally understand my reaction, but I think it was a combination of feeling so lost about the show that I'd been pouring my heart into... but also, I think I had my feelings hurt. I don't know. Other people were crying too. It was really upsetting.

Randy went on to explain why he did that exercise. He was getting ready to block the Last Supper, and he didn't want any "acting." He didn't want any of us to "act" sad because Jesus leaving us. He wanted genuine emotion and not anything more than what we were honestly feeling at that moment. When we all thought that Ryan was leaving, we had honest reactions of shock, sadness, anger, etc. Randy wanted to put us, in a very simplistic way, into the places of the disciples when they knew their master and teacher was leaving them. Boy, did it ever work!

In the show, the Last Supper is followed by this really beautiful song called "On the Willows." During the song, Jesus says goodbye to the disciples one by one. We were all a MESS! Thank goodness we don't have to sing that one... the band actually sings it. I'm actually tearing up right now, just writing about it again. It was so emotional.

I pretty much hate that Randy put us all through that, but I understand why he did it, and it definitely got the results that he wanted. I felt like jello after that, but what I felt was honest and real... not acting in any way. I think it's going to be a pretty amazing moment of theatre. It really showed me what a gut-wrenching two hours it's going to be, going through all those emotions and giving 100% physically in all the dance numbers. I'm going to be completely wiped after the show. Saturdays are going to be insane, performing two of those a day, but I think it's just going to be awesome. Awesome. I CAN'T WAIT!!!





On an entirely (well, sort of ) different note... the pictures from the Sondheim Center's Opening Gala are finally posted on our website. Take a look by clicking on http://www.theencoreplayers.com/gallery/gallery.htm.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

This is going to be an intense week, that's for sure. Take last night. I had a meeting at school at 4:30 for the Delta Kappa Gamma initiation coming up next week. I had Civic Center board at 5:00, so I went there late, eating some fruit and a hard boiled egg in the car for supper. I stayed at that meeting until a little after 7:00, when I ran into the theatre for rehearsal until 10:30. The poor dog thought he'd been abandoned by the time I got home! Luckily, practice tomorrow doesn't start until 10:30, and I'm going to get a little extra sleep. It's hard, because several of the kids in the show (I say kids, lumping them all together. Some are as old as 28 or so, but...) are here JUST to do the show. After rehearsals, they go out, watch movies, etc. Sigh. I miss those days of no responsibility! I'd love to go with them, but I've been so tired at school already this week, I know it would be just plain stupid. It sucks to be a grownup! :)

Blessings: Today I'm grateful for opportunity. Despite my longing for a carefree life, I love being in Godspell and working with the cast. We haven't had any drama in the cast yet, and I hope it stays that way. Everyone is really getting along.

I'm also grateful for my health... in the sense that I'm staying well at this point... everyone hope that holds out for the next month! But, also in a greater sense. Since spring break, I've been really trying to take better care of myself. God knows I'm getting exercise... the dancing in the show is about doing me in! ;) But, I also haven't had any pop since spring break... not even my beloved Diet Mountain Dew! I have had next to no sugar... just some in fruit and about 10 m&m's that I didn't pick out of a handful of trail mix that I had for a snack one day. I know I feel better when I eat like this, so I just have to keep plugging along. It's not really hard. When I avoid white flour and white sugar, and I eat at least 5 times a day with small meals, like I'm doing, I'm never dying of hunger in between. It's just tempting to eat out for convenience, or eat things that are terrible for me when I'm with friends. I'm grateful that I'm at the end of week 2 though, and I'm still hanging in there!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Weekly Update

It's been another busy week...

Rehearsals for Godspell are intense, active, and FUN!!!!!!!!! I haven't danced this much in ages. Sore, tired, sweaty, and HAPPY! The choreography is challenging and amazing... all different genres since our musical director has completely reorchestrated the show. "We Beseech Thee" is now a 40's style jump-swing number. "O Bless the Lord My Soul" is a hip-hop number. It's all so fun! I got my solo too... it's "Turn Back, O Man," and the blocking is awesome. I get to throw all the boys around, and I love it! It's a little scary putting a show together in 3 weeks, but it's also a show that needs to feel spontaneous. I think we'll definitely have that. I hope you all will be able to come and see it!!!!! Call (641)472-ARTS(2787) for tickets, and get more info at http://www.fairfieldacc.com/.

We also had some bad news about Annie. A touring company applied for rights after us, so we don't get to do the show. It's an unfortunate downside to being a community theatre in a little town. The big professionals always have first dibs. So, instead of Annie, we're doing another fun show (but totally different in every way) called Pippin. Not really a part for me in it, but I like the show a lot. I think it will be fun too, but it doesn't have any kids. We have 65 pretty disappointed little ones in Fairfield, but hopefully, we'll get to do Annie another summer.

Dad went to the specialist yesterday in Iowa City. He will be having his prostate removed on May 21. He decided to go that route instead of trying chemo, etc. The doctor feels good about this plan too. Please still keep him in prayer!

School is going well. My 6th graders are working on their independent research projects, my 7th graders are starting a unit on computer animation, and my 8th graders are probably going to be doing historical documentaries, but when I introduced the unit this morning, they gave me major attitude. Looks like they have 8th grade-itis already... UGH! It's going to be a loooooooong quarter if that's started already. It's been about 5 years since I last had 8th graders, and I'd forgotten about that little mutation. I just have a feeling that at this point, whatever I want to try, they'll roll their eyes. Guess I shouldn't take it personally. Easier said than done.

Here's a cool website to explore: www.visuwords.com. It's a graphic dictionary, and it's kind of addictive. When you enter a word, you can see it's relationships to all kinds of other words. Very cool. My students all love it!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Prayers Needed

This is not the sort of information that I would usually put on my blog, but for those of you who check up on me here, I want you to know what's going on. My dad found out yesterday that he has prostate cancer. He goes to the specialist today to talk about treatment options. They caught it early, and I know it's treatable, but it's scary nonetheless. I just ask that you all think positive thoughts and keep him in your prayers. I'm just sort of in shock about it all, so I guess keep me in your prayers too!
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