I won't lie, I will be glad when this show ends. I am always glad when any show ends. I mean, I am tired! I need a rest! I have been with these kids a lot, and I mean A LOT since September. It takes me over 200 hours to do a production from start to finish (and I still have to teach my regular students.) It takes the cast at least 150 hours of rehearsals. In the past month I have had at least two 60 hour work weeks, and the rest were more than 50. So...I am tired. Tired physically? Yes...I don't sleep well during the last few weeks of the production (my brain won't shut down), and yesterday I walked 23,000 steps on my pedometer! (and was down a pound this morning!)
But mentally? Mentally it's exhausting to manage 100 kids, 70 parents (one especially great costumer who will leave me this year...sadness) ticket sales, technical difficulties, 150 students a day, and a family (which I am sorry to say I have neglected this month). My friend and co-director (the choir teacher) makes it possible for me stay sane, and not go ballistic! She is a fantastic! However, by the close of this show, I will be glad to get some rest, and so will she.
This is no ordinary 6th/7th grade musical! These kids are amazing! Their talent astounds me, their ideas amaze me, their dedication and desire inspire me, and their energy exhausts me. They run the show! And I mean totally...6 student directors helped with auditions, managed rehearsals, give performance cues, and fill in wherever needed. Just last night the two mic techs forgot to show up, and the student directors took over. They are amazing girls! Truly amazing!
Kids run the lights, the sound, the mics, the scene changes, the makeup, they usher, they clean up...They do EVERYTHING! And I stand back stage and shush them...because after all they are still kids. Four of them got lunch detention for climbing on top of the bleachers...they have a seating chart in the green room, so they don't get distracted and miss their cues, they get yelled at for talking, and leaving messes in the dressing rooms. Rehearsals were tedious sometimes because kids will be kids.
But...after all that...I will be sad when it is over. I love them! They are important to me. I will miss seeing them after school everyday. They will grow up, move on, do great things with their lives, and probably forget about me...but I won't forget about them. I never do! I still think about my high school kids, and the shows they did. They shaped my life, touched my soul, and generally made me a better person.
That's why Theatre is my happiness! I am tired, but my soul is full.