Well, the process has begun! The insanity has kicked in. The serenity of my life has again turned to crap. Yep, it’s high school musical time! No, not the latest Disney craze, it’s my own personal high school musical hell. Only this year, I can’t complain.
It’s not as hectic as it once was. Back in the day, my family and friends didn’t see me for the months of February, March and April depending on when the show went up. It was at least 2 – 3 nights a week of vocal rehearsal and then the last 6 weeks to a month Sunday afternoons for orchestra rehearsals. Then the last couple of weeks it would be every night due to full run-throughs and tech week.
Mostly it was hard work. Working full time outside of the high school, coming in at night after the kids had participated in an after school activity, been home for dinner, done homework (supposedly), made their social calls – it wasn’t easy. There was one group in the late 70s that were consistently late for rehearsal because they had to catch the syndicated reruns of “The A Team”. They were huge Mr. T fans and they pitied the fool that had to miss it. When it got to be tech week, we had to gently explain to them that during the run of the show, their call was 5:00 and they would likely miss an episode or two.
Many times, they brought homework and I prayed they would sit quietly while I worked with a group that needed extra coaching. That was not always the case. I never minded a slight buzz in the room, but at times, they could get downright rude. Can you even imagine? I mean whoever heard of an adult getting upset because students were trying to talk louder than the piano was playing.
These days, I only conduct or play in the pit and conduct. It’s a lot of work in a short amount of time and there’s no gradual build up like there was in the old days. It’s like – “Hey, it’s a month before the show and the orchestra books have arrived and we need to rehearse the next 2 Sunday afternoons.” and then we’re in for 16 or so days straight.
This year it was even easier. It snuck up on me. I gave out the books and then we realized – “Day-um, show’s in 3 weeks. Better get the pit together!”
So we went to Paul’s house so he wouldn’t have to drag out the drums and set up a keyboard, which was around the corner at Ernie’s house. Then we cracked open some brews and went to work. Two hours later, we were smiling broadly and not just from the beers. We went right through the book and only stopped twice.
Last night we worked with the vocalists. They sounded wonderful! High school kids never cease to amaze me even after 30-some years of working with them. In fact, the director of this show is a former student who graduated from the high school and now is back directing and designing sets – which, by the way, this year’s set is gonna be really cool!
This show is one of my all time favorites and I think that they have done a good job preparing for it and incorporating the pop culture that makes Godspell a different production every time you see it!
In any case – I’m looking forward to the next 3 weeks! See my smile!