Saturday, May 15, 2010

A slobbery birthday

Now that I have the weekends to myself again, I can spend then on frivolous things like attending Latte's birthday BBQ.

Latte seems thrilled at the prospect of birthday cake for dessert, but she's looks more keenly at our's, instead of her own. Doesn't she know chocolate isn't good for dogs?

Latte's owner helps out with the candle blowing. Dog drool isn't a recommended additive to birthday cake.

Unfortunately, Q-tip doesn't think highly of the canine consumable cake.

But Latte has no problem with daintiness, as Her Highness, Miss Q-tip, does. Latte just swallows her share down in large chunks. It's her birthday, after all.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wow!Pow!Bow! 2010

Wow!Pow!Bow! 2010 came to a close (finally). Despite our initial fears of playing to only half a house, alumni, parents, friends and a sizable number of the current student body filled the seats, allaying our worries about covering costs.

Rowdy crowd, though. They came in prepared to laugh, and laugh they did even at moments when the drama going on onstage was tense. Guess it's their way of coping. Life is already tense enough as it is. Our three Wow!Pow!Bow! plays had to play to a tough audience. For many of the kids just standing there in front of a sea of faces was a first. That they were able to keep their cool and tell their stories regardless was truly commendable.

Typical of teenagers, the three plays tended to repeat the themes of death and cell phones. Unsurprisingly, the Audience Poll Award went to the play that resonated these two themes the most. The judges gave the Best Overall Production Award to the play with the most movable set pieces and explosive conclusion. SFX rulez! Cool, I can live with that.

But the play from Sectionals which we debuted for a paying audience showed what a trained and professionally directed cast and crew can do. Comedy is difficult, but if done well will win over the toughest crowd. So let's keep comedy on the cards for future Drama Nights, ok?

On the whole, working with all the kids on Wow!Pow!Bow! has been exhausting. But to see them all grow as performers in such a short time, to see how innovative they've been with their staging and set designs, how frugal they've been in obtaining their materials, how eager they've been to improve their performance day-by-day, how patient and cooperative they've been with each other and their competitors; everyone just focused on presenting a good show... that's what I mean by working with a cast and crew with an awesome attitude, having a sense of motivation and ownership over a project of their own choosing.

Though I said before that I don't desire to die in the theatre, I'm pretty sure I want to continue living in it. It's great to be able to teach kids stuff that's outside the curriculum. You can yell at them, threaten them with flying shoes of death, work them till odd hours of the night, and the next night they'll be there again asking for more abuse just so that they can improve on their previous performance. Now, that's a real love for learning! And I'm so happy to facilitate!

Curtains up, eyelids down

Latest news reports say that the lifestyle I've been living lately hasn't been too healthy:

Lack of sleep 'linked to early death'

followed by:

Memo to boss: 11-hour days are bad for the heart.

As much as I love the theatre, I'm not sure I love it all to death. After tonight's run, I'm taking a vacation.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Camping out at Drama Night venue sure makes one lose track of the days. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Looking forward to Full Dress Rehearsal tonight. Everything still looks a mess, especially the transitions between plays. But the plays themselves have been making the kids work like the clappers. I may only have three plays in the running but they're all showing that they're in it to win it. Quite proud of them already, given what they've been able to accomplish in only two weeks (realistically speaking) and given their lack of experience. Think it was a good idea to let them watch each other's rehearsals, 'cos they're motivated to show better than their competitors. That's been raising the stakes quite a bit. Now it's left to me to provide the packaging, and the polish that complements the show that we've got. Oh, the pressure.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Just another Sunday

Up bright and early for a 0800 session with Personal Trainer, John. No incident there as I made time to eat breakfast beforehand. June came home from her company trip and as we were walking out to celebrate, we very nearly got run over by a bus charging the lights. We shook our fists at the oblivious bus driver and sent off a complaint to his employer. Never felt so angry with service staff before, but then none had ever threatened the lives of my wife and I before either.