We have been busy, busy, busy with rehearsals for Sound of Music, with little time for anything else (like blog posts!). We finally are able to rehearse on the stage, so it is all becoming real and exciting, as it always does about this time in the creation of a show – props are being used, the music is coming together beautifully, set, costumes and tech are coming soon and, with each addition, the more real it gets.
It is one of those things that we couldn’t even admit how much we missed until we got back to it – it is in our blood, I guess. I will be helping out backstage and however needed, since I will be there anyway and my husband has a small part (the nasty Herr Zeller), so it really is a family experience. The only one missing is our son, but, sadly, he has other obligations.
Em is both having a great time and is totally exhausted. From here on out, we will be having rehearsal every night – Sunday through Thursday. (And Homeschool Co-op on Fridays. Fortunately, this Friday is our last day of this semester and we wrap it all up with our Open House on Saturday. Em and I both have classes that are performing, so once that is off our schedule, it will be a relief!)
Then there is Tech Week and at least 7 performances – they are talking about adding additional performances because of the interest and demand for tickets. Tiring for someone who struggles with pain and fatigue but worth it, because it has been so missed. Hopefully, we all still think it is worth it when all is said and done – praying that there are no lasting ill effects as we go through the final, exhausting phase of production.
It has been a joy to watch Em back at the theatre, singing, making friends, hanging out with girls her age and generally being normal. It is also a little sad to watch her on those evenings where she is just beyond exhausted and not feeling well, she withdraws and is quiet and clearly isn’t right. But, she is doing something we didn’t honestly know if she would ever be able to do, so we are just happy that she is able to be there.
Any general stab in the vague direction of normal is an accomplishment; what she is doing is far more than a wild swing at normal and it is a pure joy to see. Having ‘music fun’ (like hanging out with other people who appreciate music, like learning a bit of music theory, like singing in Latin, like being pushed to perform at the highest level – she is a sponge and welcomes the music director ‘cracking the whip’), laughing at the antics of the cast members who live for getting laughs, laughing with and learning from our great directorial staff, and, best of all, being a part of the cast and everything that goes with it – these are the things she has missed out on and is thoroughly enjoying.
As I read over this, I realize that my waxing eloquent about it all is a little funny – the whole thing is actually a gigantic pain in the butt: sitting around for hours for a few minutes on stage, twiddling your thumbs while the directors confer and make necessary tweaks now that we are on the stage, trying to avoid the viruses that use the cast as a petri dish, putting up with egos and kids and tired folks who are giving their time to make the show happen, staying until 9:30 or 10 and then driving 45 minutes home, spending hours at the theatre instead of preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas…
This show is the theatre’s all important Christmas Show – always a feel-good, family favorite that is a staple in the community. Unfortunately, but fairly unsurprisingly, the Christmas Show happens during the holiday season, which means the cast devotes an enormous amount of time to the theatre, instead of say, shopping for groceries that their family might need to actually be able to eat or cleaning their house or preparing for Thanksgiving or shopping for Christmas presents or putting up Christmas decorations.
Now, I could be the only who struggles with all that but I don’t think so because there are plenty of folks who simply refuse to be a part of the Christmas show (read that as ‘folks who are actually sane’) but will do every other show on the schedule. Our family, well, we are suckers for punishment and have almost always done the Christmas Show. Except, of course, for the last 3 years, when Em was so sick.
Hence, both sentimentality about how great it is to be able to do it again and a forgetfulness akin to that which accompanies giving birth are at play in the waxing eloquent about the whole thing! Plus, even with all the annoyances and inconveniences, we just totally enjoy it and are happy to have all of the ‘annoyances’ to put up with and don’t really see them as annoyances 99% of the time. Plus, who doesn’t love The Sound of Music? Seriously. If that makes us crazy, so be it.
It is really hard to get worked up about the negatives when you are just so darn happy to be there in the first place!