Yesterday we bid adieu to Batesville, IN. Last Sunday we set out on the road, stopping along the way to go antiquing. We arrived at our hotel around 9:30-10PM. After finishing paperwork and preparing for the next day, we called it a day.
Monday morning was rough for us due to being in a different time zone than we are use to, but we managed to make it through auditions and rehearsal. This group was a very talented one, and we had our work cut out for us finding exactly the right role for each kid. We ended up with an amazing cast that knocked it out of the park every day.
Tuesday's rehearsal was very smooth and fun. The kids brought in great energy and absorbed the directions we gave them like sponges. We had quite a few actors making character choices no one else had done in our previous weeks, and after being on the road so long, it's always refreshing when someone thinks of something completely new.
Wednesday brought tech rehearsal. We had two high school guys running lights and sound, and they were on top of their game every step of the way. The kids did a great job staying patient with stopping and starting. We had plenty of time for polishing trouble spots.
Thursday was our full run without stopping. Although there was one scene in particular that had trouble when it came to lines, they simply skipped seemelessly to a spot they were sure of and never let it show that they had messed up. This was exactly what we had told them to do. The few times that someone forgot lines here or there were covered up without hesitation. Some groups don't have the confidence or knack for keeping things moving when something goes wrong, that wasn't the case with this group. Even though we want them to get things right, it was comforting to know that they wouldn't panic if the same thing happened in a show. After this run, we fixed things that had been wrong. After that, we had our Double-Time-Over-Do-It run through. They took the notes from the last run and applied them all. We were very excited to end the day with this run.
Friday's final dress went well. Joseph and I were very excited for their show, and not worried at all. Sure enough, they nailed their first show.
Saturday brought their final show, and they took no prisoners. We were blessed to have numerous parents and family members help me with tearing down the set and loading everything up. We ended our day and our time with this amazing group, by gathering at Steak 'N Shake afterwards. When we walked in, all the kids that had taken over the restaurant applauded our arrival. We are with one of girl's family, who's mom had been one of our sponsor contacts at rehearsal every day. Our waitress informed us that our kids had each sang their orders to her, and it had made her day. Joseph and I finished our evening with seeing "Pixels" at the one screened theatre in town.
Things that I will remember from this group:
1. Our "Jessie" and her mom, one of our sponsor contacts, stayed late very day to help us load things in and set things up. This was such a huge help to us, and we were blessed to have them.
2. We recieved an alarming amount of cookies, some brownies, I recieved a motorized "Elsa" fan from "Frozen", we recieved cards, and our Sponsor gave us a goodie bag of snacks for the road with a note thanking us for all we do.
3. Every night we have a list of thank you's to announce at the end of the show. We always end with our cast, saving the best for last. This weeks group jumped in and said they had one more thank you, and then they used the format for our Orchestranians to sing us thank you's with arm mo emts and everything. It was the most adorable thing, and made my heart feel good.
4. The first performance, I was headed to my spot to come on stage. As I got into position, I saw our little girl who played our Toucan. She had just come off stage and my older girls playing my treasures were all hugging her and congratulating her on nailing her scene. She was smiling from ear to ear when she saw me, and I gave her a fist bump and told her she nailed it. She went to her spot backstage and our Princes Harp told me how our Toucan had been freaking out before she went on. After the show I told her a a little bird had informed me that she had been nervous. She said she had forgotten all of her lines right before she went out. When I tell you this girl nailed it, I mean it. She didn't miss a single line. I told her, "See, you didn't need to worry!" She smiled real big, and gave me a hug before running off again.
5. There were numerous children who thought Joseph and I were married. Apparently in the first day's rehearsal one of them misunderstood him when he said I was his wife in the show. She stopped him and tried to confirm that we were indeed married. He clarified that we were married in the show. One of the other girls asked if I was married at all in real life. He told them no. Another asked if he was married. He said no, and this caused a conspiratorial look between the three girls involved. Joseph tried his best to squash these thoughts and moved on. Later on I had a similar incident, and squashed that suspicion like a bug.
6. ALL of my Orchestranians sang this week. This has never happened. I usually only manage to get two or three of the named Orchestranians to sing all of their lines. This group immediately accepted that they all should sing, and so they did. And with each line, my heart soared.
7. This is one of my favorite weeks so far on tour. The kids were well behaved, and super talented.
Keep checking back to find out how our week in Mukwonago, WI, turns out.