Category Archives: Mother Of A Theater Kid

Homecoming…Theatre Style.

So, E goes to The University of Montevallo and they have this tradition called College Night. Here’s the Wikipedia info about it.

The oldest tradition at Montevallo is called College Night, an intramural competition between the Purple Side and the Gold Side. The tradition officially began on March 3, 1919, in honor of the school adding the name “college” to its title.

The homecoming competition consists of sports events, management of the side finances, and spirit. While these are key to the game of College Night, the primary focus is two student written, produced and performed musicals—one for each competing side.

“First designed to celebrate the introduction of a 4-year college curriculum, the early celebrations were competitions between classes. In 1921, to celebrate UM’s 25th anniversary, students divided into two teams, the Gold Side and the Purple Side.”[3] The two colors of the school, purple and gold, compete for the title of either “PV” (purple victory) or “GV” (gold victory).

The student involvement is all-inclusive: there are athletic intramurals that count for points toward victory, cheerleading competitions, signs designed and painted by students to be judged and even community efforts and fund raising drives to gain points toward a victory.

So, that student written, produced and performed musical? It opened last night and E was part of the ensemble. He’s been rehearsing crazy hours in secretive environments for WEEKS. This show was basically the reason he chose this school. And the feeling of Spirit and Pride has carried him through sleepless nights these last several weeks.

It’s a HUGE deal.

We wanted to go see the show Saturday because that’s when they judge and announce the winner (I think) and that’s when all the alumni come back and it’s evidently INSANE. But! He could only get 2 tickets (they don’t want anyone buying out huge chunks) and we needed four.

So! We’re going down there tonight.

He’s been sending me videos of the cheers and songs and the crazy insane energy surrounding all of their gatherings and it’s just the BEST. THING. EVER. They wear all purple, they flash what YOU see as a peace sign but they know as “Purple Victory” (Gold Side does the Thumbs Up – even the Facebook page for the school uses the divided logo right now), they carry around stuffed cows (their spirit animal) and tag everything with #PMFV. It’s amazing and I’m loving watching it all unfold.

I guess Gold Side has won three years in a row now. I think that’s right. Purple is hurting for a victory SO BAD and I find myself suddenly caring more about the outcome of this spirit competition than I have any sporting event in my whole life. We painted our nails purple last night, we’re bringing purple goodies, and we’re prepared to scream like maniacs for the Purple Side show.

He’s exhausted and tired and loving every second of it. It’s awesome. Here’s to a Purple Side Victory.

This is what 4'ish hours of sleep looks like.

This Is Your Brain On A Musical.

This is what 4'ish hours of sleep looks like.
This is what 4′ish hours of sleep looks like.

West Side Story opens tomorrow. This means that I have only gone to bed ONE NIGHT in the last week before 9pm. And 9pm is my late bedtime since I get up at 4am. Last night? I heard the alarm on my watch go off at midnight. Which I didn’t know it did.

YET I AM STILL UP AT 4:30 WITHOUT AN ALARM.

I do not exaggerate when I tell you that my body is weirdly scheduled for a morning wakeup call no matter WHAT the circumstances are.

I should get to bed a little earlier tonight as the kids have an early call in the morning (that’s theatre talk for “they have to be there early” – I like to throw out the theatre lingo every chance I get) so the will have a quick dress rehearsal tonight and get to bed early.

The Producer in these type of parent-volunteer shows is mainly The Person Who Organizes And Emails. I have no actual skills like our parents who sew or paint. However, I’m certain I have the weirdest assortment of tasks and experiences of all of the volunteers. To demonstrate?

  • I have two mannequins in pieces in the back of my van.
  • I ordered a top hat from a local tux show yesterday.
  • Today I have to get 20 pairs of tan socks.
  • Last night I was discussing stinky bandanas and possible solutions.
  • I referred to a friend of mine as the “Tattoo Lady” yesterday.
  • I found myself discussing the difference in candy buying that will occur between the West Side Story audience and last month’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory audience.
  • At one point in time I found myself thinking yesterday during the dress rehearsal: I can’t pin this strap to this bra because my hands are sticky from hair gel.

Basically? The producer organizes, emails, and fills in wherever they need to since they are at most of the rehearsals. And my “fill-in” capabilities are limited due to the aforementioned lack of real skills.

But what I’m awesome at? Is still getting up at 4am and dragging myself to boot camp after going to bed at midnight. Which is what I’m doing today. I’m behind on blogging and tumbling and tweeting and facebooking, but god forbid I miss one day of bootcamp!

All in all? It’s still so much fun and I wish this was an actual skill and they’d ask me to come back again next year. But it’s time to pass the torch on to another soon-to-be sleep-deprived parent.

(P.S. I’m tired. Please excuse any and all spelling/grammar/language errors. You’re lucky I’m even making it out the door wearing anything other than my jammies, my brain is that fried.)

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And Then There Was That Time My Utilities Almost Got Turned Off…

Well, it’s over. I can’t believe it. We had 3 large audiences this weekend full of whistlers and clappers and screamers and dancers and those audiences? Are the BEST. Three amazing performances by an amazing cast with amazing parents that I’m going to miss with my amazing heart.

Wait. That was one too many Amazings I believe.

My family saw it again Saturday night because I wanted them to be part of those huge, fun crowds and it was totally worth it. I love a good theatre crowd because I love screaming my head off and it’s easier when there are 30+ other people doing the same thing. Nikki loved it so much she gave E this note for his last performance:

I like to think she meant EXACTLY what she wrote. I mean, who needs to be Potiphar or even Joseph if you’re awesome enough to be GOD.

It’s going to take me about a week…or two…to catch up on life. Laundry, blogging, reading and most importantly: TV. I’ve only watched a handful of shows in weeks. My DVR is stacked so deep it may start deleting shows and THAT CAN NOT HAPPEN. If it deletes part 1 on the 2-part Castle just because I’m four weeks behind…HEADS WILL ROLL.

I haven’t read blogs or responded to emails or even returned phone calls NOT related to Joseph. I even came home one day to find a bright orange piece of paper taped to my front door saying: WE ARE SHUTTING OFF YOUR UTILITIES TODAY BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T PAY YOUR BILL.

Ooops.

I feel safe telling you that story because my husband never reads my blog, but OH MY GOD. He would crap a million bricks if he knew how close we came. I immediately paid it online and then thanked the universe for letting me be in a position where I get that notice because I accidentally forgot to pay, not because I didn’t have the money to pay. I got plenty of those notices back in the Single-Working-College-Student-Mom days.

So…we still have utilities…Yay! No permanent damage done and I now have tons of memories and great friends all from this war we fought together getting this production to the success it was.

And I even was able to sneak backstage to grab this intermission shot with E before he changed out of his hippie clothes. He only wears this for one number but it suits him well and I wanted proof of it for the history books.

Thank you for coming along with me on this crazy ride and not laughing at me for almost getting my utilities turned off. Or, if you did laugh, thank you for doing it where I couldn’t hear you.

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Why Sometimes You Don’t Have To Fear The Day Your Kid Reads Your Blog

I know I’m running on a little sleep and a lot of exhaustion. I know my emotions are heightened and my nerves are frayed from the excitement of show week. I know that every night I go from choking back tears to dancing in the aisles watching some amazing high school kids perform during a phenomenal production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. I know all of these things might make me a little crazy.

But when I saw this tweet from my kid this morning I thought: THIS. This is what the internet can add to parenting. This is what allowing your teens the freedom to use the tools with guidance from you…this is how it can enrich BOTH of your lives. The perfect example of what can happen if we embrace the tools our teens use. They’re smart enough – when we give them credit – to use them wisely. And sometimes, that wisdom can make our hearts swell in just 140 characters.

I’ve taught E that with the power of posting all of his thoughts online, comes the responsibility of owning those thoughts and knowing that anyone can read them. I’m proud of how he has established himself a respectable and fun online presence. He jokes about his favorite show being Toddlers in Tiaras and he vents about complications in Math. And sometimes he does crap like that tweet above and makes me sob in my car.

Everyone worries about what their kid will think of their blog when they get old enough to understand it or read it. E was 9 when I started my blog. He’s 17 now. He knows about it and has never flinched, no matter how much I talked about boob sweat back in the Pregnant With No A/C In My Car days. I know not all kids would be as forgiving, but because he is, our online lives can mix and we can add another facet to our relationship.

So, I thank him. I thank him for not being so embarrassed by me that he shuns my online presence. I thank him even more for using these avenues we share to pass along messages that I’ll carry in my heart forever. I am the crazy audience member screaming at every show, and the fact that he used Twitter to thank me for being that crazy person? Shows all blogging Moms out there that – while there is plenty to worry about as your kid gets old enough to understand your blog – there’s also tons of potential for awesome.

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What Drove Me To Pass Out At 7:15pm Last Night

As most of you know, we had our first public show open Thursday night for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” It was my first time seeing it all the way through and it BLEW MY MIND. I cried, I sang, I screamed and I danced. I was pumped for Friday.

Then, of course, bad weather hit the area and an official command was issued at 10:30am that our show had to be cancelled. It’s really unfortunately because, by showtime, the threat of severe weather for our area had dissipated. The loss of revenue is really going to hurt us, but we’re trying to just fill the shows every other night to make up for it. Wish us luck on that.

But…I was very tired Friday from Thursday night’s performance. And while they cancelled the show Friday, all of my family was still in town so I was up until at least 11 hanging with them and waiting on E to get home from his night out. My bro, sister-in-law and I all met a friend from some trail running early Saturday morning. 6 miles worth of trails including one DEATH TRAIL which is something you hike, not run. It’s too steep and rocky. (That’s my picture on it in the mosaic.) Then, after that trail run we had not ONE but TWO completely separate, unrelated flash mobs. Both in the same place.

TWO FLASH MOBS.

I had one with boot camp where we met and spontaneous broke out into burpees. Then I had one that I just watched with the cast of “Joseph”. TWO. IN. ONE. DAY.

This was the moment I realized I live a weird life.

We had a show that night and we had to get started earlier than usual to accomodate a ticket exchange we had set up for people who had tickets to Friday night’s show. We all got to bed around 11 that night, and I got up Sunday to run 11 miles at 6:30am. I bid farewell to my family before having another matinee show Sunday afternoon.

I’m telling you all of this just so that when I tell you this last thing, you won’t laugh at me:

I went to bed last night around 7:15pm.

Yep. Slept until 4am this morning, too.

When I got home last night it took everything out of me just to get into my pajamas. I did pop open a beer just to enjoy while I was getting ready for bed, putting up some clothes and sending some emails. But I was in ZOMBIE MODE where I was just functioning enough to complete the task at hand. My face was flushed and my eyes were blood shot. I was so tired it was PHYSICALLY OBVIOUS. I passed out at 7:15pm on the couch and barely made it into Wes’s bed (which seemed the best place to sleep at the time) when Donnie and the kids got home.

I think it’s the most tired I’ve ever been.

I feel good this morning, though. And we have tonight off so hopefully I’ll get another good night’s sleep before the final show week. I also wanted to get some miles in tonight so I only ran once last week but I’m not sure if I’m motivated enough. I kinda like the idea of having one night off from EVERYTHING.

So…I now know what my exhaustion limit is. And it wasn’t pretty.