Hello, families! Right now is both our favorite and least favorite time of year - the last weeks of the semester means the thrill of performance time, but also the parting of classes and casts that we’ve grown to love, and who have grown to love each other. It’s bittersweet, but so exciting and fun, both for the students and for us!
Day to day, my Act Too world centers around the front office. But once we move into the Theatre, “job descriptions” become pretty meaningless at ATP. We’re a small team, so tech rehearsal and performance time means all hands on deck all the time. For me, that means more hang-time with your kiddos than any other time during the semester - and it’s ALWAYS a hoot.
Sondra, Jayme and I were talking last Sunday before load-out and after the last group of students arrived, and ended up laughing hysterically (as we usually do). What cracked us up this time was me filling them in on the hilarious things your kids have said, both directly to me and when I’ve been lucky enough to be around to overhear it. We agreed that all of you would probably get a kick out of these gems, too, so without further ado:
On Maturity (from a 7-year-old watching the preschoolers and kindergartners sing):
“I just love it when the little kids perform.”
On the Fleeting Nature of Fame (from a 7-year-old describing to me, in breathless detail, a mishap during their previous show):
“Oh Miss Megan it was a mess I couldn’t get through the curtain and then I got so messed up I forgot my line and then I sang the wrong thing and I thought ‘oh no my fans are gonna quit me’.”
On What They Need From You (from an 11-year-old):
“My mom wouldn’t let me do my own makeup for today. And I’m like, mom, I think I know a little more about makeup than you.”
And Speaking of Makeup (from an 8-year-old, asking about the whiskers I was drawing on another student):
Student: What are you doing that with?
Me: This is a black eyeliner pencil.
Student: Oh, right. My grandma wears A LOT of that.
A Couple of Pieces of Unvarnished Truth (from two different 8- and 9-year-olds, while doing their stage makeup):
Student: Your hair looks different today.
Me: Probably so - I wear it different ways a lot.
Student: Yeah, it was curls last time and now it’s straight braids.
Me: You have a good memory!
Student: You should maybe think about wearing it the other way all the time.
Student: Wait a minute. Were you Mary Poppins?
Me: I sure was!
Student: I saw that.
Me: Well thank you for coming! I hope you had fun.
Student: It was okay I guess.
A Convincing Argument (from a 6-year-old, after being reminded to stay quiet, and that their classmates just got scolded for talking backstage while their microphones were on - a cardinal sin!)
“No but what I have to say is definitely more important.”
These are just a small sample of the funny, charming, unbelievable things I’ve seen and heard before, during, and after performances, and I have no doubt the next few weeks will provide a whole new set of treasures. But I don’t only hear the amusing things - I also hear the kids supporting and encouraging each other, helping each other, reassuring each other. I watch them soothing their friends’ nerves, giggling and squealing with excitement (yes, even the big kids), sharing compliments, reliving glorious onstage moments just seconds after they’re over. Backstage at the Franklin Theatre during an Act Too show is a whirlwind of hugs, high-fives, applause, and comfort. These kids are having the time of their lives, and we get to be in the middle of the most delightful pandemonium you can imagine. It’s a joy to behold, and those moments are what make all the end-of-semester hard work and long hours worthwhile.
Witnessing their unedited anecdotes is just a perk of the job :)