Friday, December 03, 2004

The moral is...make your guests feel welcome.

Were are in Iowa now. Let's hope the schools today go better than they did yesterday. I just don't understand what people are thinking sometimes.

Most of the time we prefer to perform on the floor. A lot of schools don't have stages or their stages are used for storage so it works out well. A lot of the action happens among or close to the kids so when we are on a stage we jump down a lot.

It's necessary to be on a stage if their are more than 350 students so they can see and hear.

We arrived at our first school yesterday in NE and the music teacher was having class. That pretty typical. She nicely volunteered to move so we could set up but she never moved her kids out of the way. She and the gym teacher made a half-hearted effort to set up the gym for the show meanwhile letting the kids run around were we neede to set up.

Finally, they moved them and had them sit along the far wall of the gym. Just in time for the other students to start pouring in. No one announced us. They just quieted down their students and expected us to start. We did, the show went well, they loved it and again the same thing happened. Kids were stepping on our costumes as I was trying to pack them back in our trunk. The music teacher's students were everywhere. I couldn't believe it.

The music teacher did compliment us though. She said it was one of the best assemblys she had seen. She asked us a lot of questions and told us how great we were and then as she walked away she looked at me and said, "You could practice the guitar a little."

WHAT! Of course I could! I don't play the guitar. Well I do in the show but I taught myself the few chords I know. I practice eveyday. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, she was very protective of my crappy student guitar that I bought at a friend's garage sale for five dollars. GRRRRR...I don't mind constructive critisism but she really got under my skin.

The second show was in IA. It was a beautiful old school that reminded me of Topeka High (my high school). There were signs everywhere that said, "No talking zone. The means adults to." That made me wonder if we were going to be able to get them wound up. We were directed to the stage by a very friendly janitor that told me his mother was in kindergarden at that school.

While we were setting up, a woman came in and said, " I need this room. Do you need these chairs for anything?" She was referring to the chairs against the walls for teachers to sit in. I nicely told her there was an assembly and she stormed out of the room saying, "I wish someone had told me." yeah, me too!

The stage was small but we fit well on it. They crammed at least 500 students in the tiny room. I'm sure it was against fire code. Fifth graders were standing in the back. If there had been a fire, it would have been a very scary scene.

The kids love it. They laughed the whole time. The teachers however, must haved a bad day. They were all so grumpy. I know it wasn't comfortable craming all those kids in there. It was way hot and way muggy.

When I went to the office to check out, the woman who checked us in was busy and another woman asked me, "What can I help you with," in a tone of voice that was like I was bothering her.

It was a frustrating day. We didn't feel very welcome.But we had two great shows!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Bekah and James,

It's great reading your blog. I know James doesn't like "blog". Would he feel better if I said "Web Log"?

I have never been in theatre, but I enjoy reading about the challenges and the triumphs. I know the kids, who are your real audience, are enjoying it and learning something, too.

God bless.



P.S. That's "Daddy" to Bekah and "Rob" to James!