Well, the last few weeks have been a mad flurry of activity as we get Panto 2010 firmly on track. The choreographer's hat has been found, battered and worn in the bottom of the wardrobe ( or, was it the Green bin?!) It's been spruced up and plonked firmly, if slightly askew atop my head. It has now become part of my daily hat juggling routine as it exchanges places, with speedy regularity with all my other millinery ware. Like the School Run Hat, The Shopping Hat, Housework Hat, Taxi mum Hat, Visiting Mam Hat, Good Little Wifey Hat etc; etc!!
It's very handy actually, 'cos when I get bored with jobs that I hate I just swap hats! And when driving from one place to another, or having done taxi-mum for WiiBoy I just put the Choreographer's Hat on while I'm waiting and get some (fun) work done!! I'm sure I look quite a sight sitting in the car, or poolside at swimming lessons with notebook in hand, earphones in ears and feet tap-tapping away! It must look even funnier when a few hand movements are thrown in for good measure!
A lot of work goes into getting this production on stage, for the last two weekends in January, and an awful lot of people put in an awful lot of work into making it happen. And every one of us does it whilst trying to squeeze it in with our busy lives.This post just reflects my involvement, but I most definitely am not alone. There's also our very talented and supportive Director and Musical Director ........ among others.
And besides, it's fun!
We've auditioned ALL the adults and children, we've cast the show, chosen the songs and we're up and running! Our wonderful Wardrobe Department are working away on the costumes and sets and props are being sourced/made. It is quite literally "all hands on deck"!!
I have about 100+ silly amount of children......... I refuse to add them up because if I do ....... if I actually see the total number, I might quite literally, throw my fabulous hat at it and run for the hills!
I've pretty much got a handle on all 8 children's numbers that I have (at least, I think it's 8...again, I refuse to count them!!) and they're coming together slowly (verrry slowly) but surely. I think! I LOVE the music I have and I'm really enjoying it. I'm hoping I interpret it properly. Of course, I also have adult Solo/Duet numbers to move but I'll get to them ....eventually. Yikes!!
But, it's not just your feet you need for dancing. Oh, no. That would be too easy! The mind boggling, head-doing-in-stuff that's also required would definitely ...... well........ do your head in! Seriously.
But it's FUN!!
When you audition 100+silly amount of children, refusing NONE of them, you then have to find enough dance routines to incorporate them all. Then you have decide which age group suits each song .... trying to to keep classes together. Which isn't always possible. Then you have to find rehearsal slots for them all, that hopefully doesn't clash with THEIR busy lives. And they really do have busy lives. That they tell you about. All the time. Like, last Saturday when one child couldn't attend because "he had something else to do"!! The inference being, of course, that I had nothing better to do!! The innocence of youth....ehh? Sure, what else could I do but laugh!! Or..do my Christmas shopping instead.....or my grocery shopping......erm...... paint my nails....pick my..., well... you get the picture!!
So a lot of my time is spent on dancing, of course. When WiiBoy's in school, I've been doing on average, one hour every day getting steps together and frantically swapping my fabulous Hats to get other necessary jobs done! At the moment I've worked myself up to about 9 hours a week teaching the children and am about to add some lunchtime sessions. Then of course I have to add the adults in to the mix. A lot of time also goes into the admin side.....meetings, note taking, getting rehearsal notes out, planning and organising. Then there's the unexpected change of plans and it's back to the drawing board!
All this planning has re-united me with a system I'd foolishly discarded in recent times, as I didn't have time for it. And that system is a very simplistic To-Do List! Oh boy, but it's magic! It is so empowering. I mean if it's written down, then it gets done...if not the first day then the 2nd day will do. And there's nothing like the feeling of "check" .... another job off the list!
I've sailed through the first two weeks. It was hard work and I was exhausted at the end of it, but exhilarated too. With the exhaustion came a strange kind of energy and a sense of being. Of being me. And that made me think ..........
No matter what our "job" is in life we can all benefit from doing something that makes us ... "us". If we can manage it at all. For some it's simply timeout, or working outside the home works for others. For me dancing was such an important part of my life, for most of my life. I danced in shows, back-to-back for at least 15 years before I even met Mr Jazzy. So, while Mr Jazzy may not "get" why I do the Panto every year, he did marry a dancer! It is an integral part of me. Yes, it is hard to fit it all in but it's gotten easier over the years ( this is my 7th year as Choreographer) as WiiBoy has made his transition to Mainstream, he's now happy to be involved in the panto. He even shares his Dance ideas with me!!
And besides, I intend to keep dancing until my legs fall off. here's a picture of me in 20 or so years time................................ The Dancing Granny!!
So, the first two weeks went well but then there was a major change of plans this week. WiiBoy, having had the Swine Flu jab and avoiding getting all the debilitating flu bugs going around his school, decides to come down with ...... Chicken Pox! Yup.... Chicken Pox. Like I've said before, they're dropping like flies in his class. Seven were out on Monday last....but none of them with Chicken Pox!! He's a trail blazer is WiiBoy!!
Luckily enough he's not too sick with them, it's just that with Mr Jazzy working late I've been housebound since last Tuesday. I've had to cancel and re-arrange rehearsals which involved sending inordinate amounts of texts and getting notes to the school. Another two days should do it with WiiBoy but it's knocked a dent in my schedule and made me panic a little! But all will be well. And I have to remind myself .... doing panto every year is NOT why I'm on a career Break ;))
So, the wheels of Panto 2010 are definitely in motion. There is no going back and no saying " I don't wanna play anymore" when things get tough! But, we're a great team and we have each others' backs. I also have the help of some great people.... my good friend N, two mums and a first year student who are a fantastic help at rehearsals!
I'll get going now...... I have more steps to sort for tomorrow and To-Do-Lists to make! And a DVD to make.
"Jazzy's Guide to Fitness and (Brain) Training" will in all good music stores by Christmas!!
Says she with tongue firmly planted in cheek......... and Choreographers Hat even more askew!!