Friday, 8 May 2015

Behind the glitz and glamour

So last weekend was a bit of a mix and match weekend.

Thursday night I took the girls to see Midsummer Night's Dream.  It was performed at a high school and it was brilliant! I thoroughly enjoyed it. They used a hexagonal stage so they were performing to five different angles which gave an extra depth from an audience point of view as well as making the performance very intimate, but I imagine made it a little harder from an actor's point of view.

I love cupcakes!

Plus they were serving high tea style food. I had a cupcake. I do love cupcakes.

Then Pixie was sick Friday. Pixie only gets sick once or twice a year, but when she does she is grumpy, tantrumy, miserable and needs lots of cuddles. I managed to work from home for half a day, but I admit the extra sleeping time for me because "I need you to cuddle me and I will cuddle my puppy" was a lovely bonus. You have to find a silver lining even to sickaling babies.

Friday night and Saturday I took Tink camping. I was helping to QM (cook) at a Guide leader training camp. (Apple very nicely kept the other two, even the sickaling one).

I love camping. The stillness, the time-out, the running away from technology, the campfire - it all soothes my soul.

Sitting around a campfire is one of my favourite places to be.
Luckily there was some soul soothing.

Sunday was a showcase performance for dancing. In case you are wondering, our dance school used the term 'showcase' rather than concert because it was a short concert, no costumes, and was a chance for the dancers to show friends and family what they have learnt in term one this year.

(The "no costume" bit was the important part of that last sentence that I would like you to remember for later).
Dance hair. Note the different colours? Much easier to tell them apart now.

I was helping back stage. By "helping" I mean I was in charge of lining everyone up to get on stage, checking shoes, attempting to keep them quiet, bossing around the lovely adult dancers who were helping me and the other mum helper, and dealing with random small children who may or may not know their own name.

No costumes meant less adults needed backstage just in case you were wondering where everyone else was; it was great that most of the parents were able to watch this concert.

In case anyone else finds themselves in this position, I thought I would give you some helpful tips:

  1. Take an emergency kit (ie bandaids, needle and thread, bobby pins, hair ties).
  2. Learn to sew so you can use the needle and thread for emergency costume repairs (or find out who backstage can sew).
  3. Take needle and thread out of your bag after the concert (otherwise you may prick yourself and bleed everywhere at an inopportune moment).
  4. Hair ties are amazingly useful for shortening leotard straps to avoid "flashing".
  5. Small children may not know their own name.
  6. Small children may not know what class they are in or who they are in that class with.
  7. It is highly likely most of the small children will not know the name of the song.
  8. After making realisations 5 to 6 you will be cursing the lack of costumes. When they are dressed the same they are easy to match (like dominos).
  9. It is helpful to have street cred when working with small children ("Guess what?! I am Miss Buglet's mummy" works wonders for me).
  10. Find the one small child who actually will talk to you and knows people's names to be your sidekick. Chances are they will be right.
  11. It is possible to organise large numbers of children while carrying a crying toddler on your hip. 
  12. Be confident when you give directions. Children smell fear and indecision.
  13. Know your dance teacher so you know what goes. I know I can tell kids "I promise your hair/shoes/costume/makeup will be ok, the main thing is to smile and have fun", because I know that is the ethos of the school.
  14. Take a pen. Make notes.
  15. Double check the list before so you know what is going on.
  16. Check to see how sound proof the room is. This time I hadn't realised how little soundproofing was between the room we were in and the audience.
  17. Clapping a rhythm is a good way to silence the room (if you haven't seen this done, basically you clap a rhythm and they clap it back. Lots of teachers use it, we don't use it a Guides because we have a not-so-secret be quiet signal).
  18. Glitter is awesome, but check your commitments for the next week before applying liberally. 
  19. Enjoy the moment to be part of the team. These sort of events don't happen without all the cast and crew. 
Job done for another few months! Now back to cruisey dance nights of knitting, reading and writing.

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am not qualified to give dance advice, or theatre advice of any type.
  • I am not qualified to give professional advice.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

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