I rolled over to see that my husband was not there. I was too tired and cold to track him down but when the alarm went off again I managed to find a way out of bed and pattered down the hall. He was on the couch with a blanket with one dog at his head and another at his feet. He said I was snoring.
Great! I'm unemployed AND I snore. And I so wanted to lead a glamorous life.
Grace, excited to be doing something on a weekday other than school, was no trouble this morning. She got herself ready. I, on the other hand, could not get moving. The problem for me came down to the fact that since this is community theatre, parents are required to volunteer and today I had to be backstage for both shows to make sure the kids were quiet and didn't miss cues. Now kids are fine, and this was certainly not a difficult job - like say - hanging lights or building sets - but these are theatre kids. You should know that "theatre kids" are very smart for the most part, and they tend not to be in the kind of trouble other kids sometimes get into. But as the theatre in "theatre kids" implies, there is almost invariably drama. Not the least of which is coming from my own kid. So 6 hours of sitting backstage with budding thespians just seemed to me to be too long plus a month.
We arrived on time but as lovely as this venue is (and it really is lovely) I was reminded that this was community theatre and not a union contract by virtue of the fact that there was no coffee to be found. I allowed myself a few minutes to recover from that revelation, refocused, and set about to be today's "kid wrangler".
These kids are really very sweet kids and they have found their passion - at least for now. The thing about a theatre kid is that everything about the theatre is discussed ad nauseum and with such passion. Words like "brilliant" and "amazing" and "phenomenal", uttered liberally from the mouths of 11-year-olds, fill the air. Phrases like "incredibly talented" and "moving to New York" spill from the lips of blase teenagers. And above all, there is the spontaneous bursting out of show tunes. And apparently there is a show tune written for every occasion. And Grace is a diva in training - most annoying! And I was exactly like them when I was a "theatre kid". In fact, I was worse.
At the grand dame age of 15, I knew every teeny bit of trivia from the theatre there was to know. I knew who won what Tony for the past 10 years and who was going to be up for them this year. I knew what was in previews and what was opening when - who was in it and who was directing - even if I really didn't know who they were. I knew where Bernadette Peters was born. And I knewthe lyrics to every obscure Sondheim song that was thrown out during out-of-town tryouts. Backward. And you didn't even have to ask to get me to regale you with one amazing theatre story after the other. I'd tell them with affected worldliness as I flicked the extremely long ash from my Virginia Slim menthol.
Here I am as the sophisticated, brassy, sexy, world wise, somewhat tarnished, con artist/evangelical crusader, Reno Sweeny - in a community theatre production of the Cole Porter musical "Anything Goes". As an "incredible talent", I was confident that I could bring this role to life by drawing on all the wisdom, experience and understanding I had acquired, 3 years before I could legally drink.
And did I mention that I was "brilliant"?