So we have been finished with the show for a couple of weeks now...and I am still feeling the effects of the whole production. As I was reflecting on the entire experience, there were several memories that made me smile, laugh and even inspired me. There were also some moments that were sad and I need to forget them...quickly! In this finale blog post, I was trying to figure out how to sum up this entire experience. Finally I was inspired by David Letterman...of all people, to create a Top Ten of some of the best moments of the show...from my prospective! I am sure that the cast/choir/crew could make some additions to the list, so be watching out for additional comments!
10. The Animal Handlers and their Costumes:
As many of you know, we try to have live animals during our Christmas productions. This year was a little difficult securing all the animals we wanted but we did have some make an appearance. During the second half of the show, the donkey makes his entrances with a group of people. He is of course being lead by the animal handler. What I realized during the performance was that in this biblical village scene, the audience saw the beautiful bibical costumes and scenery...and smack in the middle was a lady with a donkey wearing a black shirt, jeans and of course the Santa Hat.
9. Santa Gone Wild:
At the end of one of the dress rehearsals, we were all in the process of cleaning up and getting things ready for the next evening. As I was writing some stuff down on my trusty yellow pad, the actor playing Santa caught my attention. So I walked over to talk with him and was caught completely off guard! He said to me, "Hey check this out!" And just like that, no sooner did I look up, He quickly ripped open His Santa jacket, chuckled, and was off in a dash! I had never been flashed before...and let me be clear, it was just upper body!
8. Sawhorse Ballet:
One of my voice students, Noelle, is also a wonderful dancer! There was one song in the show that I asked her to do some solo dance work. Before the song begins, the stage is suppose to be cleared to give her room and freedom to dance has she felt lead. One of the performances,- I think it was Friday night- the two sawhorses from the previous scene were still on the stage. By the time I noticed, the song was well into gear and Noelle was ready to make her flying leap from one side of the stage into the other. I could not see very well, but I could hear a small thump once she landed...when i turned and looked she was face to face with a sawhorse...the best part is, she kept on going! Kudos to you Noelle!
7. The Pop-Up Shepherd:
Having teens in a Christmas production can be a lot of fun. I know for us, this is a really good group of students...and they can keep things interesting...for example our pop up shepherd Nick Polk. I gave him this name because you just never knew where he was going to be! One of the singers told me that she kept seeing this young man run across the stage in a blackout, but I did not believe her, until the Saturday night show...when I saw Nick bolt across the stage! Not sure where he was headed...but he missed his speaking line anyway! LOL And if he did not miss his line-which only happened once- he would deliver the line in a different location! Thanks Nick for keeping us guessing!
6. The Camera does add 10lbs...or 50lbs:
I think it was at the matinee performance that Joe Watson pulled his brother Nick up on the stage to our Christmas version of "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" It was a great laugh...and I thought Nick and Joe did a great job of playing alone...but that is not what this is about. After the show, Nick was helping the team set stuff for the next show and a lady stopped him and told him that he did a great but "You could stand to lose about 50lbs!" Folks, that is a direct quote! I am amazed at how people do not think before they speak....and yes I know I have done the same thing. But people get some class! Don't worry Nick, I got yo back!!!!
5. Director's Choice of Words....that will inspire you:
So speaking of people talking, I confess that sometimes I have a problem clearly communicating things to people. It is nothing major until I am trying to prove a point to people or I am wanting to say something inspiring and it just comes out all wrong. But these 2 cases are not those moments. At the final dress rehearsal, I was talking to some people about The Christmas Song. They looked at me funny and I said, "You know the song ....(cue music) 'Chestnuts open on the roasting fire..." Of course I did not realize I had the words open and roasting backwards...clearly anyone could make that mistake, right? The other moment was at the end of rehearsal when we were taking cast pictures. It was a group shot and the photographer had to stand on a ladder. Once she was ready I called out to the cast and said, "Okay everyone, look up here...She is going to flash you!" Of course the room erupts in laughter and she turned so red...but she was a good sport!
4. The Green Sofa & the Flop Heard round the World:
There are a handful of moments in my life that have made me laugh so hard and uncontrollably....This was one of those moments! We were in the first dress rehearsal and we found this antique lime green sofa! It had wood trim...it looked good. Anyway, we were doing a scene based on the tune "Sleigh Ride." I had a farmer and his wife and children getting ready for a Christmas party. As I was watching the scene unfold, I noticed the daughter getting ready to make her entrance with her friend! In that moment I thought to myself, "I hope she does not run and flop into that sofa." No sooner did I finish that thought, she was skipping through the doorway down to the sofa! And then...it was as if God had given me the gift of prophecy...she flew into that sofa and then there was a CRACK! Those in the cast will remember this night very well, because I spent the next 3 minutes in the floor laughing...loudly!!!!!! When the song ended, I tried to regain my composure...but it did not work! I was giggling like a school girl...and ya'll know I have a high pitched laugh!
3. Run Away Wheel Chair:
At the end of every show, we have the cast, choir, and crew come out and meet with the audience/guest as they leave! At our last performance, there was a lady pushing her friend in a wheel chair. I did not notice them right away because of all the other people coming out of the doors. As the crowd died down, I saw these lovely ladies coming in my direction...or so I thought! The lady piloting the wheel chair had made a hard right turn to head down the small hill of the driveway. As she was walking down, she noticed I was standing there and wanted to come back and talk to me. Would you believe that this lady just let go of the wheel chair and started talking with me? OH YES she did...and there is more! As she is talking to me, I notice out of the corner of my eye that her friend is slowly rolling down the hill....ALONE!!!!!! The good news is that one of the men in the choir saw her rolling away and caught her, just as the lady talking to me realized that she had let her go! Only in Florida!!!!!
2. The Voice in the Darkness:
We had several new people join the cast for the show...which is always a great thing! It is neat to watch them discover just how creative they can be with a role. Opening night was a bit nerve racking for a couple of new actors, but they did a great job. One scene I remember specifically was the end of scene 2. The villagers leave the stage in a blackout and we had 3 villagers comeback on stage to quote scripture to move the story along! So everything was happening as it was suppose to and I could see the people getting ready on the dark stage! Then, all of a sudden, I hear this voice....the Voice in the darkness... quoting the first passage of scripture! Quickly the lights come up and reveal that no one was there...except the other two people who where waiting for the lights! Was it a spirit? Was it a special effect? No, just an actor who forgot to wait for the lights to come on! LOL
1. It's Opening night...what could possibly go wrong:
You spend all those weeks and months preparing for this moment: Opening night! There is so much riding on the first performance. Word of mouth about your show begins at this moment...so you have to bring your A game right? I alway think of opening night as your real dress rehearsal...only in the sense that you have people watching it and you have to go on whether the scene was correct or not! So there we are, getting settled on the stage for the first act...the crowd is checking us out. We are checking out the crowd...and away we go....or not! We got 1 minute into our first song and lost our sound equipment! Praise the Lord we still had power...just no sound! There are a lot of things going through my mind at that moment! But in the 3 steps it took me to turn and face the audience, I was in prayer! The lesson I learned through this first act is that God needed to show up and remind us that He was with us! Sure we committed this performance in prayer, but maybe this was another way for Him to remind us that He was going to carry us not just through that opening night, but through the whole weekend...if we move out of the way and let him!
Eventually, the sound tracks were working again, and the show did go on! But I am forever indebted to the cast/choir/crew for an amazing weekend!