Being in a play with a bunch of young people. Hmm.
My first impression of this cast was, WOW, what talent. Seriously, the first time we sang Madame Guillotine together, I was blown away by how we sounded. And there was so much LESS time wasted, without a bunch of little kids. Those choral rehearsals were really great. But as I looked around, I thought that only a couple of these people looked old enough to be married, let alone have children. Let’s face it, having little kids is not really conducive to spending almost every night at rehearsal. Why do you think it took me until I was nearly 40 to try out for community theater? Family. I’m not sayin I don’t love my family, I DEFINITELY love my family more than anything in the world, and if they would do theater with me, I would LOVE that. And isn’t it great that I can still do theater even after spending all those years as a stay at home mom?
Anyway, I digress. A lot of people in the cast are high school or college kids. While waiting out a scene or learning blocking, they CANNOT a-sit still or b-shut up. Honestly. For a ball scene, they put me with this one guy, I’ll call him E. He and this other guy, who we shall call B, talk, talk, talk, through the whole scene. And not just talking, it’s Lord of the Rings impersonations, acting out light saber battles, quoting lines from OTHER movies that I couldn’t place, and all manner of other things. They are entertaining, but if I’m trying to listen or learn dance steps, it’s annoying. The director came by and said, “Does he EVER stop talking?” I shook my head no. He’s probably bummed that he has to have ME as a partner, when there are so many cute girls that he COULD be flirting with, had he only been paired up with them instead. Oh, well. He did talk TO ME long enough to mention that he had met a really neat girl at the singles ward the other day. I asked if he had asked her out and he said he did. Then he said she came over to his house and they talked. I was quick to remind him that hanging out at your house (or your parent’s house) is NOT a date, and he needed to take her somewhere to do something. Not that he asked for my advice or anything, but as a mother, I figure it’s my job to point that out to him.
Speaking of dancing, I was actually pleased that the choreographer at least PUT me in that scene. As she was assigning everyone places for the ball scene, she came by and said, “Are you ok to dance?” to me. Really? I know that I’m old and fat and out of shape and I didn’t do great on my dance audition, but I CAN learn the simple steps to a ball dance, thank you very much. I was afraid that she would purposely NEVER put me in a scene with any dancing. The other big group number, Madame Guillotine, they have me as a prisoner heading to the guillotine, while almost everyone else does this amazing dance and sings the song. We prisoners don’t even get to sing the song, and it’s the best song in the show. Darn. But, I shouldn’t complain, it’s time on stage, right? I was afraid that she totally hated me and wasn’t going to put me in ANY dances at all, but thankfully it’s not that bad.
There’s one other guy who is older than me. Did I mention that I knew him from BYU? I got a chance to chat with him a bit last night, and he did remember that we went out a couple of times back then. He even brought it up, so that’s good to know he does remember me. When we were learning the ballroom scene, he actually spoke up and said that she was going too fast for him to remember all these steps, and could she make sure to say the counts. I was glad he said something, because I was feeling the same way, but was far too insecure to pipe up and say anything like that.
Last night we were blocking a scene where Percy and his men help some prisoners escape. It’s all set to music, no singing, and the director and choreographer had to figure out what was going on when, place everyone, rehearse, etc. I am not a prisoner in this scene, rather in the “mob” that is there to watch the execution. We mob members don’t really do much in the scene except give Percy’s men a place to hide, so it was really boring for us. And I got to stand near some OTHER young people and listen to their conversations. It’s so weird to be transported back to the drama world. Theater people are a unique brand of people. They want to be funny, likeable, and the center of attention. I don’t really fit in with them, as again, I’m old, but I do join in their conversations sometimes. I’m trying to learn people’s names each time I go to rehearsal. Most of the girls seem nice, and the boys are the ones that are always goofing off and never stop goofing off. Last night seemed like a huge waste of time to everyone who was in ‘the mob’, but at the end, the director had us all sit and said, “THANK you so much for your cooperation. This was a difficult scene, and we were so worried about getting it right, but you’ve all done a marvelous job, doing what you were told, and not complaining. I think you are a marvelous and talented cast, and I really enjoy working with you.” Wow. He must not have heard all the complaining that was going on in back in the mob.
So, while it is fun to be a part of this show, I am not really feeling like a part of the show, yet. I still feel quite like an outsider. An OLD outsider. But hopefully that feeling will go away as I meet more people. Maybe I’ll make them some cookies.