Thursday, December 20, 2012

rules for backstage

I am a backstage Mom.  Not a Stage Mom.  There is a clear difference.  I work backstage to help with the costume changes for all the kids, call the order, make sure they smile, pin and sew when needed, tie toe shoes and tell them when they are mumbling on stage.  Sure.. I praise them but I'll be damned if they go on stage and mumble. My training to put on the best possible show won't let that slide.

I have been in a number of shows in Junior High and High School. Never the star.  I was an understudy.. and  Chorus. Lack of Confidence was my downfall and I always preferred to not talk or be in a crowd.  I helped back stage and even was the student director.  Blocking, calling lines, making sure things can be heard... that's my bag. Making it seem real.  I paint a mean set.

So when my kid got bit with acting/musical theatre bug, we ended up somewhere where I happen to know the studio director.  She was my best friend growing up.  Now she owns her own performace company - not a dance studio.. a performance company.  Singing, acting, dance, play-writing  design...  the whole package.  There is one small problem.  Staffing.  She can't really afford to pay for staff like you normally would.  So the moms and dads help out where they can.  I.. am the Backstage mom.   I call the numbers, help get them ready, keep band-aids  pins and tissues on me. I have been known to yell... at rehearsals.  I use the Mom voice.  Why?  There are 2 basic rules in the theatre that need to be followed.... period.

1) You MUST be quiet in the wings and backstage.  NO TALKING
2) You have to pay attention and move fast. Timing is everything.

There are more but these are the 2 the kids have the hardest time with.  They are pokey and can not for the life of them keep quiet.  Everything is a joke.  I love them all.. but they need to learn this hard lesson.  Many of them want to make performing their career.  If they can't handle these 2 rules, they will never see a call back.

Some of them try and do really well.  Others..  not so much.

I want nothing more for these kids to succeed. And I have to be a hard ass for them to get the idea.  I don't do this because I want to... I do it because I have to.  Discipline is lacking in today's kids. Harsh tones are "cruel" and you hear "why do you have to be so mean"..   Stern is mean and bitchy.  Well you know what, if you did what you were asked to do, I wouldn't need to correct you.  They need to be obedient - the director calls the shots... not you.  Little to the parents know of what happens back stage.  I know some of the kids don't like me.  I know some do. They call me Mom. I have seen many of them improve and get it.  Others do the same antics at every show.  If you don't want to play by the rules don't play.

This weekend we have 3 shows.  Friday 2 are back to back with a dress rehearsal.  1 on Saturday for the Seniors..  I feel like I am wrangling cats.  I think I need that on my shirt "Official Cat Wrangler"

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