Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Adventures of Summer Continue

I had the opportunity to accompany my mom and the nieces and nephew to a museum today.  While I found the musuem interesting, I had much more fun observing these four characters.

There were many props and dress up items in the musuem.  My crew decided to go outside and pretend to be locked up in jail.

Guess we know who not to call when in need of bail money.

Of course, it's the same child who claims her siblings are all adopted.

Let's face it.  It's always a great day when I get to be around these faces.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bon Voyage Pirates

It's the first evening at home since leaving my pirate friends at the theatre.  The last performance was yesterday.  We had a sold out audience and even had to sell some extra seats.

As much fun as my time on stage was, the behind the scenes moments are my favorites.  The memories and bonding that took place backstage over a plate of Mike and Ikes was worth the countless hours of rehearsal.

We will forever be known as the "Band of Idiots" and will wear the title with pride.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Heat Exhaustion

It's official.  I have become a wimp.  After days and days of temperatures in triple digits combined with high humidity, I have reached my breaking point.  I'm tired of showering multiple times a day just to go outside and work up a sweat walking to the car.  I'm tired of breaking a sweat while watering plants and flowers in the early morning hours.  I'm tired of listening to the roar of the air conditioner as it tries in vain to keep the house at a reaonable temperature.

I wasn't always like this.  Growing up, I lived in a house without an air conditioner and thought nothing of it.  My parents very wisely got a family membership to the pool just two blocks away from our house.  While they were at work, I spent my days riding my bike back and forth to the pool where all the stay at home moms and babysitters looked out for all the kids in the neighborhood.  If I was at home and I got too hot, I would go outside and put my head under the hose.

But now, things are different.   These days of high heat have zapped my energy.  All I need is a couple of  "sweat free" days to turn my mood around.  Unforunately, those days do not look like they will be here any time soon. 

So, now I'm off to take the second shower of the day.  I will then head to the theatre to perform two shows under the hot lights.  I predict another two showers before I go to bed tonight.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Product vs. Process

Generally speaking, I consider myself to be a creative person.  Unfortunately, my skills don't necessarily live up to my creative potential.  The ideas are there, but something seems to go wrong in the process in of bringing that idea to reality.  As a kindergarten teacher, my lack of ability means nothing to the little people in my life.  They see the beauty in every creation.

So imagine the anxiety I felt when I arrived at theatre camp for 44 first thru sixth graders and was told I was in charge of helping them to create their costumes.  No sewing machine.  No patterns.  No suggestions.  No help from other adults.  Just a tub of fabric scraps, a few pre-made items, scissors, and a bunch of needles and thread.  Oh, and I only had 90 minutes with each group during the week to make it happen.  (Where was my aunt Jolene when I needed her???)

These poor kids!  They looked to me help.  I looked back at them with panic in my eyes.  I wasn't sure what I had gotten myself into, but I knew I couldn't let the kids down.  I turned the tables back on them.  What do you want your costume to look like?  Dig into that fabric box and see what inspires you.

They came to me with their ideas.  They wanted vests, shirts, skirts, dresses, belts, headbands, capes, and hats.  I took the scissors and started cutting.  They gave me instructions as to where to cut.  I gave them needles and thread and showed them how to embellish their creations.  They came to me with ideas on how to make it bigger and better.  I helped them when they wanted help and stood aside when the didn't.  They blew me away with their creations.

In the end, we ended up with 44 very happy kids with very creative costumes.  They may have been a little rough around the edges, but the kids were ready to walk the runway with pride in their creations.  It was a reminder to me that it's not the finished product--it's finding enjoyment in the process that matters.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On With the Show!

After working behind the scenes for two years, I finally put my fears aside and auditioned for a play.  Shock of all shocks, I was actually cast.  It's a small musical based on a children's book.  It's been a lot of work.  I'm completely exhausted between my summer jobs and rehearsals.  But it's also been an excuse to let my silly side see the light of day again.  I mean, how seriously can you take yourself when you are playing a dog pirate!

Last weekend, the curtain went up on our show after a month of rehearsals.  Oh my, it's an addictive feeling!  Being able not only to perform, but also to interact with kids in the audience who are experiencing their first live theatre.  Hearing the laughter and applause of people of all ages in apprecation of our work.  And most precious of all, having small children approach me asking for "Scurvy Dog's" autograph.

I have four more performances this weekend.  I will sing and dance and act and enjoy every moment of it.  And on Monday, I'll wish it all hadn't ended so soon.

Friday, July 1, 2011

As Seen on TV

I haven't exactly lived up to my hopes of posting on a more regular basis this summer.  I like to think I've been out finding new stories to share with you. 

Earlier this summer, my niece and I took an unplanned shopping trip.  She was having a particularly difficult day and just needed to get away.  Neither one of us were particularly interested in purchasing anything.  We were more interested in finding things to make us giggle.  The titles in the book aisle were a good source.  So was the board game aisle.  But our shopping trip became serious when we found this:

That's right ladies and gentlemen!  It's the infamous item advertised on television to keep your snacks from spilling.  We grabbed it off the shelf and knew it had to become ours.  Before we had made it to the checkout, we had already come up with at least a dozen uses for this item. 

We spent the next 45 minutes testing the product, finding new uses, creating our own commercial, and laughing ourselves silly.  (It was also reported that she was the hit of the softball team the next day.)

I guess the advertisers forgot to mention the product's power to produce giggles!