Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cutting the Cheesy

In the two days before performances, when I have the auditorium and the kids walk the stage for the first time, we have protocol to cover.

"See those microphones taped to the floor? That's a no-go zone. Those are expensive and could be easily damaged. So, only actors and crew are allowed onstage from this point friends."

Oh, they love that part. Only us, no one else. No. One. Else.

Means we're special. And let's face it, they are.

Another popular ritual they love more than almost anything (except saying the mottos and eating) is "Let's get cheesy out of our systems."

I stand on the floor in front of the stage while they sit in their chairs onstage. I jump up and down and pretend to be a parent, grandparent or sibling.

"Oh, Henry, hi!" and I wave my hands while calling out. "Henry, over here, it's Auntie Betty!"

What does Henry do? Nothing, absolutely nothing, because he's been trained.

"See that, guys? Henry is not going to be cheesy and wave back or call out 'Here I am....Oooh look, I'm getting my crown on and here comes my big speech!' "

"Me, me, Ms. Ryane, do me!"

"Wendy, Wendy, over here! We came to see you! Hey, Wendy!"

I run back and forth and leap up and down, and Wendy, all cool as a cucumber, shines me on.

"That's how it's done, kids. It's not done. You're real actors and you're acting professional and readying yourselves to work. You're not just little kids anymore."

So, that was fun and they understood. I had a teensy rush of pride at their deportment until the six o'clock performance — when all those adult relatives arrived.

The grown-ups did exactly as I'd rehearsed, then got ticked off because their offspring did not respond in kind.

I had to run around before the show, explaining my head off.

"They're not being rude, they're just not going to be cheesy and wave back. They're acting like professionals right now."

Wendy told me a couple of days later that her granny was still royally mad " 'cause she thought I was giving her the bird."

I'm training the wrong crowd.

What I will miss about Shakespeare Club. I will miss every body in Shakespeare even my director because I mite go to Miami Florida with my family I will miss my friend and people in thierd grade.
—Wendy, 3rd grade

boy jumping from Grrraphics

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