Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Haiku for Scarlett

Cat on the tub edge
Your tail is in the water
That is not normal

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Warm and Fuzzy

Yesterday, I went into the "girls' dressing room" (read: the music room) to do an energy warm up and give the girls a pep talk before their final performance. I couldn't stay long, but was eager to cheer them on. We all participated in a rousing rendition of shay shay koolay (srsly. I'll post a video. Just as soon as I figure out how to film myself, and then edit the video... So, never).

After said warm up, I was catching my breath and gathering my stuff to leave, when a woman got my attention. "You're great!" she said. "Are you a teacher?" My response was some garbled approximation of "No, not yet! Someday soonish, though!" And then... then she told me I would be a great teacher.

I'm not sure why it made me feel so warm and fuzzy. I don't know this woman from Adam (Eve?), and yet I was so touched by her words.

The thing is, I really hope to be a great teacher. And it's always nice to hear someone else say it's a real possibility.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Recently, I have been helping with Clover's 5th grade musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It's an ambitious undertaking-- 100 5th graders (most without previous theatre experience), 150 parts (so lots of costume changes), many props and set pieces, and not a whole lot of backstage space. There are songs, dances, and people turning into blueberries left, right, and centre (well, ok, only one person turns into a blueberry... but it SEEMS like a lot!).

Here's what it would sound like to be at a rehearsal with me:

Quiet off stage! Face the audience! React! Keep acting, even when you're not speaking! GOOD! EXACTLY! Louder! Speak more clearly, I want to understand you! Louder! Keep acting! Face the audience! QUIET OFF STAGE!

And so on.

Luckily, I also get to run warm ups, and that's the most fun of all. We do facial exercises: massaging the face, "chewing gum," making the face very big and then very small
tongue twisters/articulation exercises: red leather, yellow leather, good blood, bad blood. red leather, yellow leather, good blood, bad blood. Whether the weather is hot, or whether the weather is cold, we'll be together whatever the weather, whatever the weather may hold.
vocal warm ups: Saying to a spot as far away as possible, "I never said she bit my dog. I never said she bit my dog. I never said she bit my dog." and so on.
Best of all, energy warm ups: This is everyone's favourite. It's called shay shay cool aye, and is a repeat-after-me warm up. It's sort of a dance, and it's lots of fun. If I remember, I'll make a video, or take pictures of each step!

Tonight is opening-- I'm excited, and I know the kids are!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Interpretation is Key

I have recently started looking after an 8 month old (nickname to be determined). She is generally a cheerful, amiable baby, and I really enjoy spending time with her. She's very cute!

She is a baby, though, and babies cry. She has been ill, and so that means even more crying, usually about things I cannot fix. The crying can grate on the nerves, but I've found a method of dealing with it that makes me, at least, feel better.

I assign my own frustrations to her crying. As [baby] is sobbing away, I will coo to her, "Oh, I know! Climate change is so awful! What does the future hold?" or "Gah! I know! The glass ceiling is the frustration of so many American females!" All of this is said with in a soothing tone of voice, with an encouraging smile.

It's all in how you interpret what you hear.