Wednesday, February 17, 2010

in charge

I was completely in charge of the Chicago rehearsal today from 10-3. I was a nervous wreck beforehand, knowing that it was the first time the pit orchestra was playing with the cast, not knowing if this would end up being a great rehearsal or a horrible rehearsal. I wasn't leaving any room for mediocre with the things that needed to be accomplished.

I made a schedule. A minute-to-minute schedule that had everyone busy at all times, whether you were a chorus member, a lead role, or a pit member. It was stressful to put it together and I had to exercise vigorously to get my stomach to unknot. I had little qualms about whether the kids would respond to the schedule, just qualms about the realistic nature of it, not knowing how the first rehearsal with pit would go.

See, I knew a couple things.

First, the assistant music director, who had been getting the pit ready the last few weeks, had nothing but negativity to report. And she knows her stuff. Worrying.

Second, there were still a few songs that we had never touched on before, or had not done well lately with the cast. The traditional apathy was setting in and I was worried about my assistant director's opinion of their readiness. She has worked at the school since I was there in middle school and is a very opinionated personality.

But. All was as well as could be hoped for. The pit played pretty well. Like, not the train-wreck I was hearing they were. My assistant was flabbergasted, but pleased. The cast sang and danced really well. They still need work, but they responded really well to knowing what was expected of them - they did independent work, respected my work ethic and adopted the premise of work hard then play hard and don't get caught slacking. They did me proud.

The drama director, as I said in the previous post, is a frazzled, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of woman. While I like the ideas she has and I'm sure she is an amazing actress...it's not a great thing for a director to be. I am often frustrated by her lack of commitment to a schedule for the rehearsal. The students get frustrated as well, not knowing what is coming next. If I am ever permanently in a position like this, I hope I can make it a priority to be organized with scheduling.

I really enjoy this 2-month job. It's one of the busiest times of my year, but I really like every moment I'm with the high school students. I know there is so much more to a high school teaching position than what I'm doing, but it's the first time I've thought I might like it better than elementary.



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