Saturday, November 05, 2005

Up for Air

What a long week. Between the show (Cyrano went well), the end of the quarter, and "real life", I was in a lot of pain last night. By the time I got home to my wife (who was already in bed and feeling horrible), I thought I was going to collapse. Would you like some highlights? Too bad, you're getting them anyway!

We left our intrepid hero (ok, me) on Tuesday. Having taught three people how to run the show, I was feeling confident that everything would be all right. That was my first mistake. As Wednesday morning dawned, I had this...eerie feeling. I already knew I would be covering a colleague's classes while he was gone, but I had no idea that every single one of the kids in those classes was, in fact...from the class I taught this past summer. That's right: Most of the kids I had failed in the summer reading course were still in the high school. Front and center was the girl whose mother had tracked me down and screamed at me for failing her daughter. Sadly, they were just as I had remembered. Sigh. Best moment? I asked which president was involved with Watergate (they had been studying that time period). The answer? Well, it went as follows:
"Which president was involved with Watergate? Yes?"
"Bill Clinton!"
"Um, no. Yes?"
"George Washington?"
"This was about 30 years ago, so no. Anyone else? You."
"Uh....What was his name....Uh....That guy....Oh yeah, Kennedy!"
"Um, wow. No. There was a Kennedy that was part of a different scandal. (It gets quiet.) Anyone else. (I count to six, finally a hand goes up.) You."
"Was it Richard Nixon?"
(Same kid) "I guess that makes sense, it says in our book he resigned due to Watergate."
All I'm saying is....WOW!
When not working with these kids, I was in the theatre trying to get everything to work. Just when I would have one light fixed, another would break. It was like stacking dominos. One afternoon four (count 'em FOUR) bulbs popped. Add to that trying to set up lights for action going on in the audience, and the stress just kept on building.

Wednesday night! Oh lord, that was dress rehearsal. Oy VEY!
-I bought pizza for everyone...but no one saved me a slice.
-My crew suddenly forgot everything we had talked about with regards to running the lights, so we had to start completely over in writing the cues. However, I will say this: Nora is going to be better at lighting than her brother. Mark my words.
-Watching the show on Wednesday night, the director and I had a long chat about his retirement. He talked about how sometimes, "In years like these, it can't come soon enough." Now, I'm already stressed as my wife is sick, I haven't been sleeping (at this point it's been a long time since I slept through the night), and I'm trying to get my colleagues grades in for him because the quarter is ending (what the hell was I thinking?) and now I'm trying to console a man who's been teaching forever. It was a long night. After getting home and checking in on my wife, I stayed up watching Dave, which lead me to an idea for George W. Bush (more on that later).
-Emma showed up. I've mentioned her
before. Even though she's at a different school now, she showed up to dress rehearsal. This leads to everyone asking me how I feel about her being there, or as I call it: Another distraction. She would also show up on Thursday.

Thursday. That feeling I had was worse as I woke up on the floor in the same clothes from the night before. I hadn't even made it to the bed. Sometime around 3 in the morning, I made my way to the bedroom and passed out on the floor. When the alarm went off a couple of hours later, I was mighty surprised.
Classwise, it was...tiring:
-Began All the President's Men. First question (seriously): "Why does this film take place in the 70's?" For the rest of the period, all I heard was, "This is boring," "Why do we need to know this?", or, "What does this have to do with what we were studying?" I can't tell you how close I was to yelling "Because this is about Watergate, you schmuck!"

-I attempted to relax on Thursday only to be sucked into a conversation about how one the students and I are going to have 24 children. What makes this funny? Well, how about the principal showing up to hear the end of the conversation and ask me questions about it. Awesome!
Now, Thursday night was the opening of Cyrano. It went well, but there were some problems. The light board operator that night got Tourette's in his hand and double clicked the button on one occasion. Luckily, he had listened to me when I mentioned the "HOLD" button. It stopped the blackout. He screwed up on two other cues, but it was ok. Other problems?
-The actor playing Cyrano lost his nose during the first scene.
-The actors weren't in places when the lights came up. Luckily one girl was and she was able to fuss about on stage until the rest of the actors showed up.
-This one's for Greta: "You want a fair day's work? Pay a fair day's wage." That sound like the line? No? Let me know what it is when you remember it. (I kid because I care.)
-Emma. You know, everytime I think that girl is totally over me, she goes and does something like...oh, I don't know...fake my signature on her butt (and Blair's chest). Yeah, you got it wrong. You should make sure I'm not at the top of the steps or anything before trying that. Even more fun was watching Elizabeth turn bright red when I mentioned her part of it. Yeah, the whole signature was wrong. Good try though.
-You can tell when a person doesn't like you. It's in the eyes. Somehow the relationship has changed. Maybe it's because you're too much alike, or maybe it's something else. Put it this way: It's really hard to put your trust and faith in someone when they turn around and burn you at every step. It's hard to sing the praises of people who don't return the act or behave in such a way as to no longer deserve it. Sometimes, however, you just have to watch someone self-destruct. It's hard, but you have to go boom sometimes in order to learn.
The rest of the night was pretty quiet. I went home and figured I could relax. I was wrong. Didn't sleep AT ALL that night. I never even closed my eyes. Too much work to do and too hyped on all the things I had to fix in order to sleep. Thus, as the sun rose on Friday, my brain was hurting.

Friday. We'll skip the fun day of classes which saw the end of the film, multiple questions about what happened, and five kids sent to the office. It was Friday and the end of the quarter. Yup.
That night, the show went well (from what I was told. I was tending to my wife).
-I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Nora kicks serious ass. It also helps when the posted rule in the booth is for Rob not to touch her. Trust me: this is a good rule.
-The cast had no idea I had shown up for strike. When I started barking out orders after the cast photo, I apparently spooked a few people.
-We started strike at 5 minutes after ten p.m. with instructions to be done by 10:30. Between myself and the crew, we had everything done in 20 minutes. Damn those kids can be good when motivated. It makes me actually excited for the spring play. I now have a sophomore and a freshman who can run lights and sound, and both of them want to learn the ins and outs of it. I might suggest that one of them move to crew, but we'll see.
-Best moment: Trying to quickly break down the scaffolding, seven students can't tell that the brakes are on the wheels. They need to be unlocked to make it work.
-Worst moment: A student brings me the drill and says, "I don't know where I'm supposed to be or what I'm supposed to be doing....How did I get this drill?"
-There was a cast party, but I realized two things:
1. It's weird when your teacher shows up.
2. No one told me where it was. In essence, I wasn't invited. The director hoped I would show up, but again, no idea where it was.
As for sleeping, well, I admit I found a cheat to help me. I got home, my wife was asleep, and I was on my last legs. I down a full shot of NyQuil (MMM the Q) and passed out. Got up nice and early today to work on everything I had neglected around the home. You gotta love it.
Moral of the story: There is no moral. Ok, maybe we all have to learn how to balance our time and energy or were going to pay for it.
Admit it, you missed me a little. Well, I missed you.
Talk to you later.


greta said...

i was all ready to go last night and LAURA SKIPPED THE LINE!! but i still got to say my other two and throw the rubber chicken, so it was all good.

it should have been: "If you want fast work, pay a fair wage!"

i was close... kind of

Leab said...

Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades. Way to cheat the audience Greta. Way to cheat the audience.

greta said...

hey now, i would say that i was far from cheating the audience, i threw a rubber chicken that squawked at Laura's head, what's better than that?!