The set matched the model well so we didn’t have to do too much re-blocking. That was a relief. They many problem seemed to be in getting used to stair that were all different heights. The turn table took some getting used to as well. It was also hard to hear the piano… or the singers if you were the piano. We were looking forward to the sound design to be finished, up and running.
Kimber did a fantastic job with choreography. It’s fun. It’s light. It compliments the spirit of what I envision. I am so glad I got one last opportunity to work and to create with her again before she and her little family move away to La Grande for Ray’s new job. She is one of my favorite collaborators because she catches onto my vision and enhances it with ease. I know it was hard for her to leave Ben behind with family for rehearsals. I know that she gets nervous when people push her (like a few of the dancers), but she did a great job getting the dances done. She grew braver as the rehearsals went on. I am so proud of Kimber. She has proved that she can be a great choreographer outside her little sheltered town.
The other fantastic thing about this play is that I get to work with two more of my beautiful daughters, Lilli and Hannah. They are both very talented. They are developing into powerful performers. I hope I get to see them on stage for many years. Actually, I’d love to see Hannah in the up coming Les Mis at Pentacle Theater. 🙂
Each dance has it’s own beauty. I love the grace in the waltz in A Girl in the Valley. I love all of the garden fairy dances. I love the Dragon Slayer dance. Secret Garden doesn’t usually have dancers. I just wanted them because I thought they would be great at telling the story of renewal. They do. 🙂
The hardest part of these two weeks is that people were still coming and going. It wasn’t until yesterday that I had a full cast. Talk about scary! Thankfully, each person is stepping up and doing what they can to make this production a success. Actually, there have been a few difficult moments: replacing an actor, finding a new percussionist, finding a new music conductor for opening night, getting enough lighting, communicating well with the Tech Director, actor issues, deaths in the families of members of my cast and crew, and work issues too. Through this process I’ve learned to lean on God more and on my directing team.
Through it all I’ve had Kimber, Robert, and these two to lean on.
I already said how Kimber has been there for me and for the show. I’m going to miss her on my next show. (pout).
Robert and I think so much alike when it comes to directing. We compliment each others strengthens well. I love working with him in this capacity. He was very busy with CET and a few others things so he wasn’t able to come to every rehearsal. However, when he did he gave mt 100%. Even better, he took care of all the yucky confrontational stuff… firing an actor, other actor issues, scenes I couldn’t get to, paper work, and the like. I am so looking forward to working with him in December-March on Les Mis! I really am looking forward to possibly directing him in my next production… You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, next summer.
Megan has a stunning voice. She put up with me in so many ways… in voice lessons to on stage. She is an actress with heart. I love that about her. Most of all I love that she is like family. I love watching her rise and soar in her art. It’s like watching one of my own kids take flight and succeed. I am so blessed that she and I finally connected. I chuckle to myself that I’ve known her 17 years but it has only been in the past few years that we have come to realize that we should be doing more together!
Jeff is not only an exceptional performer who has allowed me to push him hard to reach emotional depths. He is one of my greatest friends. When he should be concentrating on his performance as Archibald, he is my sounding board, stand in vocal director, light hang monkey, personal shopper, and go to guy. I love this guy! It is rare to find someone that can be that true of a friend. (although I have to admit it is possible that he means more to me than I do to him. I don’t care about that. I only care that he is always there when I need him and I need that in a friend). His performance in Secret Garden is moving. I am so glad I was able to see him soar like this. His talent takes my breath away. I’ve got to direct more shows just so I can cast him!
I keep moving forward. It’s hard coming into a new organization and learning “their ways”. I would do things so much differently. I never know if my problems are do to my training and personality or their way of doing things. I had trouble with light hang night happening without a light plot. I had problems with a lack of construction plans. I had trouble understanding days of no progress in set completion. I had issues with a lack of communication. I took issue with the Tech Director never reading the script or seeing the show. I know I am capable. And I did take over Tech Day because I knew the show. But I take issue with the fact that the Tech Director never read the show or saw a complete rehearsal. Although I had things under control, I did not understand why the Tech Director left Tech Day and most rehearsals after that. Seriously, I think I may have been the Tech Director on most things. I should have to do that when I am directing… even when I know how. Thank goodness Robert and Jeff coached me through the issues. The best advise that helped me get what I needed was when Robert told me that I was intimidating because I know as much as the Tech guys knows (maybe even more). He just doesn’t know what to do with me. Sadly, Secret Garden is an example of how things need to improve and some people were up for review. That is nerve racking. In the end I had to be demanding in where I wanted lighting instruments and even took over programming light cues. I came in and did the flowers myself. I may end up going in and finishing the painting and putting a lock on the turn table. Who knows.
One of the techniques I don’t get it the use of cardboard covering the entire set. I think it looks dumb. For two Saturdays we all went out and covered the set in cardboard.
Megan helped me make these sound panels for the orchestra area. The theater needed them badly. Backstage is like a giant open garage and sound just bounces around. The sound designer thought they needed these sound panels. He sent a link that we could buy some. They were spendy. I said we could make them. The Tech Director said no because it cost so much. I said I could get some donations. He agreed that if I didn’t spend money I could make them. I got all the materials donated but $75. We build 8 panels for that. Now they just need to store them nicely and they can be used for many shows to come.
My costumer is amazing! She took dresses from storage that were falling apart and made this beautiful dress for Megan, who plays Lily. When I took this picture the dress cost $4. However, she later added a bit more lace so the dress cost a total of $14. not bad. It’s not just this dress. All of the dresses are like this. The men’s costumes are just as beautiful. I want her working every show I direct. She really is amazing! This show is going to be stunning to look at all because of Mary Ann.
I needed a dragon for the dancers in Race You to the Top of the Morning. A dragon is my addition to the show. I just wanted something to visually bring to life this beautiful song. I wanted the dragon to symbolize the illness the plagued the Archie and potentially his son Collin. I couldn’t find one for the longest time. In desperation, I put out a plea on Facebook. Weirdest thing. My mom had one in her storage container. LOL. Who would have thought. John met my parents in the mountains to get it to me. It needed some repair and some embellishments. This is what I came up with. It took me all day.
I used sparkly foam board to give the dragon scales. The tail was falling apart, so I replaced it with a pretty satin I found and added ruffles at the bottom and spikes down the spine. I wanted to add half a hula hoop as handles for the dances to hang on to the dragon. I just haven’t had time yet. but it works. I have to admit that it is impressive when it comes out on stage. And now I am a proud owner of a Chinese Dragon. 🙂
By last week we added a few lights. I am still programming cues. There are still a few lighting instruments being added here and there.
I finally got the picture frame hung. I love it. The Tech director thinks it looks dumb. I don’t care. It is a statement.
In all of this we are still trying to have a normal summer. Kimber is nice enough to take people to the park to play in the new splash pad.
Lilli and Case get along great and have tons of fun in the summer sun
Some times I think they are more like siblings that their real siblings are.
Lilli went to Cheer Camp at CHS.
She made up some of her own cheers. They made me laugh… but don’t tell her.
John took Lilli on a big over night hike. It’s not my thing, but they like it. I didn’t worry about it. I figure John is a big boy and can figure things out for himself… that is until I was driving around working on Secret Garden stuff and heard the radio announcement that everyone in the path of a bigg thunderstorm needed to get indoors. AHHHHH!!! I called John’s phone in vain. I knew they were right there. i couldn’t do anything… just worry… pray… and spend the next 24 hours worrying more and not sleeping.
First of all, they got a late start because they are slow getting ready. They met my parents for the above mentioned dragon… they forgot a park permit and had to go back to Detroit to get on. It was evening before they got on the trail.
Here is what John had to say about the trip:
We headed into the forest and soon noticed the forest got extremely dark – much more than it should before 5 pm. I knew a thunderhead was passing over. We started to hear thunder in the distance, which was frightening to Lilli. I told her about Lehi’s dream, and about the darkness and about the beautiful tree of life with the white fruit.
Meanwhile, the rain was finally making its way through all the fir needles to start wetting us. I was a little slow getting out our pack covers and our rain ponchos. I couldn’t find mine the first few places I looked in the pack, so I got more and more wet.
We made dinner – hot chocolate to start, so we could warm up, followed by mashed potatoes, then a canned pasta thing which was kind of gross. Our bodies were warming up. Lilli wanted to get in her sleeping bag, so I let her do that while I did dishes and tried to prep our camp for the possibilities of rain and critters in the night. I made one more pan of mashed potatoes and shared it with her through a small utility door.
We packed up everything as if we were ready to leave, except left the tent standing and and put all our gear into it except our daypacks. That way we could come back to the tent for shelter if needed.
We took our lunch and our poles and went around the north side of the lake for the first time. We saw that there are many more good campsites, and many of them were occupied. We debated (each other) about how far to go. I wanted to get clear around to the east end. We didn’t make it to the northeast corner, but close. We found a place which might be interesting to fish. And got out where we could see the sky and found that it was beginning to look threatening. And we found that Lilli’s sandals had come loose and were not on her daypack where they should be. We prayed to find them, and between that and the weather, decided not to fish but to return to camp.
As we got within five minutes of our camp, we considered stopping to fish. Where we stood we could see the thunderstorm active in the west, and that the weather was moving from east to west. The storm was trying to spread back to us upwind, but we remained just out of its reach. Whatever was coming from the east was out of our visibility. We decided to return to the tent. As we arrived it was starting to sprinkle, and the sound of thunder was growing closer. There wasn’t much wind, though.
This lasted a minute or two. As it moved off to the west we could hear the thunderous sound of the hail mixed with the thunder of lightning. It sounded like a thousand horses running through the forest. There was a convenient intermission where we went out and picked up some giant hailstones and got some great pictures. Then some sprinkles started, so we got back in. Then a “regular” hail storm came and nearly buried the big hail stones. That was incredibly loud in the tent, and it got quite cold. We got our sleeping bags out and got into them as the temperature kept dropping. The hail lasted five minutes or so and the rain continued on for an hour. The whole storm had us in the tent for about two hours.
The trail was amazing. There was a mixture of pine sprigs and hailstones making a Christmas carpet that smelled nice.
Eventually we got to the car, and found it damaged. Dents in the metal and cracks in the windshield. Mine seemed to be the most damaged vehicle, though I did see some evidence on others.
The process took a while…
She even got a “Mohawk”… good bye blonde…
We also went to Micheal Jessop’s wedding reception. Chad helped the Jessop siblings prank the get-away car. Michael was not pleased. He was even madder when they hit it a second time. He may even have disowned them all. meanwhile, Lilli helped Kimber by chasing Ben all around the place. We eventually went home and just relaxed. It had been awhile since we got to do that.