The morning I had today is just too crazy to keep to myself. Funny crazy. It was one of those days where you finally get somewhere alone and laugh to yourself “what the hell? what is going on today?” Luckily, the craziness of my morning had nothing to do with me being out of sorts, but everyone else, and I was there to help keep things from falling into utter chaos. So it was crazy but not stressful. (Stick with me, this is a long post, but it the funniest parts are at the end.)
My day started out with me getting up later than I wanted (normal day). Part of the lack of coping skills to this day I attribute to my poor eating habits. My eating habits are all out of whack right now because of 1) not giving myself time to make meals and 2) no food because I desperately need to go to the store. In fact, today I’ve had about 2 cups of coffee, some yogurt, a granola bar, a bag of popcorn, a bowl of mac and cheese, and some chicken pieces. I ate none of those things in the same sitting. (On Saturday my entire day’s meals consisted of a half a cup of coffee and crackers with peanut butter…for lunch…and dinner…that’s it.)
So I get to school and stake out a practice room, a little nervous that I now only have 1 hour to practice the music I have to know for a Wednesday-night-grad-school-audition-recording-session for one of my clarinetists. I hear my phone beep as I plop down my backpack and see that I have a text message from one of the theater professors that I met with for 5 minutes at the beginning of the semester to discuss accompanying opportunities for the musical theater department. The meeting was 5 minutes because there were no accompanying opportunities for the musical theater department – they had already hired people by the time they met me. However, this text message told me to check my email regarding an emergency with his acting classes. Turns out that the accompanist for 2 of his acting classes was having emergency surgery that day and could I accompany the classes until further notice?
Long story short (too late) I wrote back and told him that I could help with the exception of the end of one of the classes because of my own class conflicts. By this time I now only had 30 minutes to warm up/practice before I had to go to my first voice lesson of the day. [Aside: When I got to the voice lesson, it turned into one of those lessons where the s*#% kind of hit the fan and the girl was reprimanded for not spending enough time on her lesson material. When the teacher asked if she had practiced with me last week she actually had the gall to say that “we didn’t get a chance to practice” which was a little bold to say considering that she made absolutely no effort to meet with me, and I’m pretty sure had no intention to. *shrug* it’s her jury.]
So after that trainwreck of a lesson, I had 30 more precious minutes to practice before heading to this last-minute acting class that I agreed to help out with.
Oh my. I forgot what theater people are like.
I walk into this large rehearsal room full of 30 very loud students. I felt like I was walking onto the set of “A Chorus Line.” Everybody (everybody) stared at me and gave me a tentative “hi…” as in “is this girl lost?” The two theater professors come in and the one who had contacted me comes up to me and thanks me for helping him out. He then hands me a binder with the music that the students are working on. Half of it is songs from “Chicago” that are hand-written. Awesome. Then, my favorite part happens.
He goes, “so can you lead them in some vocal warmups? Thanks”
Uh. I blink my eyes a couple times. I think I said “really?” and then miraculously pulled out from the depths of my brain two warmups from yearrrrrs ago. Didn’t know this was what I had signed up for. When I told the students who I was and that I would be helping out they gave me a rousing round of applause (typical theater people :)) And then somehow I went into musical director mode.
The next hour was a chaotic jumble of instruction and adaptation, and I’m pretty sure I used up all of my brain cells for the day in that one hour. As soon as I was done with the current scene/song, the next group of students would come to me behind the piano and explain how their scene was going to go, telling me where they cut the music, how they’ve never danced their choreography to this music, and oh, can you help me with this key change? I’ve never gone over it with the accompanist yet. And don’t forget that I’m sightreading handwritten music. One of the songs had actually been hole punched on the wrong side and was in the binder upside down. Thanks to my carting around everything with me all the time, I happened to have a portable 3 hole punch to save the day. The piano had no bench and since those crazy “block” set pieces that apparently come with any and all theater rehearsal rooms in the world are the wrong size, I had to find anything that would be the right height. I couldn’t see over the piano to watch the students so I was going purely by sound.
My second favorite part happened when I peer around the piano for this girl’s cue for her song entrance and she’s wearing MY jacket as a prop!!! What the hell? I seriously didn’t mind that she was using it but she just grabbed it off of the block I had set it on without knowing who it belonged to. I just laughed incredulously to myself. I think I said “oh my” about 208 times in that class.
Finally, at 10 minutes to 12 I had to leave to go to my own class. I’ve never been so relieved to sit in a desk and listen to a lecture.
Can’t wait to do it all again on Wednesday!!!