Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Boyack Report.... Out of the frying Pan and into the Fire

 So much has happened in the past two weeks.  I'm keeping up... just barely.  First of all, Secret Garden moved from the downtown rehearsal space to the theater.  Our first day in the theater we all worked at helping build on the set.  The second day we were able to re-work dances.  We were done in record time... 8:50pm.
The set matched the model well so we didn't have to do too much re-blocking.  That was a relief.  They many problem seemed to be in getting used to stair that were all different heights. The turn table took some getting used to as well.  It was also hard to hear the piano... or the singers if you were the piano.  We were looking forward to the sound design to be finished, up and running.
 Kimber did a fantastic job with choreography.  It's fun.  It's light.  It compliments the spirit of what I envision.  I am so glad I got one last opportunity to work and to create with her again before she and her little family move away to La Grande for Ray's new job.  She is one of my favorite collaborators because she catches onto my vision and enhances it with ease.  I know it was hard for her to leave Ben behind with family for rehearsals.  I know that she gets nervous when people push her (like a few of the dancers), but she did a great job getting the dances done.  She grew braver as the rehearsals went on.  I am so proud of Kimber.  She has proved that she can be a great choreographer outside her little sheltered town.

The other fantastic thing about this play is that I get to work with two more of my beautiful daughters, Lilli and Hannah.  They are both very talented.  They are developing into powerful performers.  I hope I get to see them on stage for many years.  Actually, I'd love to see Hannah in the up coming Les Mis at Pentacle Theater.  :)

Each dance has it's own beauty.   I love the grace in the waltz in A Girl in the Valley.  I love all of the garden fairy dances.  I love the Dragon Slayer dance.  Secret Garden doesn't usually have dancers.  I just wanted them because I thought they would be great at telling the story of renewal.  They do.  :)
 
 The hardest part of these two weeks is that people were still coming and going.  It wasn't until yesterday that I had a full cast.  Talk about scary!  Thankfully, each person is stepping up and doing what they can to make this production a success.  Actually, there have been a few difficult moments: replacing an actor, finding a new percussionist, finding a new music conductor for opening night, getting enough lighting, communicating well with the Tech Director, actor issues, deaths in the families of members of my cast and crew, and work issues too.  Through this process I've learned to lean on God more and on my directing team.

 Through it all I've had Kimber, Robert, and these two to lean on.

I already said how Kimber has been there for me and for the show.  I'm going to miss her on my next show. (pout).

Robert and I think so much alike when it comes to directing.  We compliment each others strengthens well.  I love working with him in this capacity.  He was very busy with CET and a few others things so he wasn't able to come to every rehearsal.  However, when he did he gave mt 100%.  Even better, he took care of all the yucky confrontational stuff... firing an actor, other actor issues, scenes I couldn't get to, paper work, and the like.  I am so looking forward to working with him in December-March on Les Mis! I really am looking forward to possibly directing him in my next production... You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, next summer.

Megan has a stunning voice.  She put up with me in so many ways... in voice lessons to on stage.  She is an actress with heart.  I love that about her.  Most of all I love that she is like family.  I love watching her rise and soar in her art.  It's like watching one of my own kids take flight and succeed.  I am so blessed that she and I finally connected.  I chuckle to myself that I've known her 17 years but it has only been in the past few years that we have come to realize that we should be doing more together!

Jeff is not only an exceptional performer who has allowed me to push him hard to reach emotional depths. He is one of my greatest friends.  When he should be concentrating on his performance as Archibald, he is my sounding board, stand in vocal director, light hang monkey, personal shopper, and go to guy.  I love this guy!  It is rare to find someone that can be that true of a friend. (although I have to admit it is possible that he means more to me than I do to him.  I don't care about that.  I only care that he is always there when I need him and I need that in a friend).  His performance in Secret Garden is moving.  I am so glad I was able to see him soar  like this.  His talent takes my breath away.  I've got to direct more shows just so I can cast him!

 I keep moving forward.  It's hard coming into a new organization and learning "their ways".  I would do things so much differently.  I never know if my problems are do to my training and personality or their way of doing things.  I had trouble with light hang night happening without a light plot.  I had problems with a lack of construction plans.  I had trouble understanding days of no progress in set completion.  I had issues with a lack of communication. I took issue with the Tech Director never reading the script or seeing the show.  I know I am capable.  And I did take over Tech Day because I knew the show.  But I take issue with the fact that the Tech Director never read the show or saw a complete rehearsal.  Although I had things under control, I did not understand why the Tech Director left Tech Day and most rehearsals after that.  Seriously, I think I may have been the Tech Director on most things.  I should have to do that when I am directing... even when I know how.  Thank goodness Robert and Jeff coached me through the issues.  The best advise that helped me get what I needed was when Robert told me that I was intimidating because I know as much as the Tech guys knows (maybe even more).  He just doesn't know what to do with me.  Sadly, Secret Garden is an example of how things need to improve and some people were up for review.  That is nerve racking.  In the end I had to be demanding in where I wanted lighting instruments and even took over programming light cues.  I came in and did the flowers myself.  I may end up going in and finishing the painting and putting a lock on the turn table.  Who knows.

Personality issues were also a big stress factor.  Like the actor who changed the script because he didn't like the English... who argued with my directing... who seemed very unstable.  We replaced him.  Then there are a few that when they are given direction argue or become offended by correction.  Come on.  Thanks my job.  I also didn't like people sassing Kimber or Jeff when they were teaching them dances or music.  Grr.  Breathe... I've come down to that.  Breathe... 


 One of the techniques I don't get it the use of cardboard covering the entire set.  I think it looks dumb.  For two Saturdays we all went out and covered the set in cardboard.
 Megan helped me make these sound panels for the orchestra area.  The theater needed them badly. Backstage is like a giant open garage and sound just bounces around.  The sound designer thought they needed these sound panels.  He sent a link that we could buy some.  They were spendy.  I said we could make them.  The Tech Director said no because it cost so much.  I said I could get some donations.  He agreed that if I didn't spend money I could make them.  I got all the materials donated but $75.  We build 8 panels for that.  Now they just need to store them nicely and they can be used for many shows to come.
 My costumer is amazing!  She took dresses from storage that were falling apart and made this beautiful dress for Megan, who plays Lily.  When I took this picture the dress cost $4.  However, she later added a bit more lace so the dress cost a total of $14.  not bad.  It's not just this dress.  All of the dresses are like this.  The men's costumes are just as beautiful.  I want her working every show I direct.  She really is amazing!  This show is going to be stunning to look at all because of Mary Ann.
I needed a dragon for the dancers in Race You to the Top of the Morning.  A dragon is my addition to the show.  I just wanted something to visually bring to life this beautiful song.  I wanted the dragon to symbolize the illness the plagued the Archie and potentially his son Collin.   I couldn't find one for the longest time.  In desperation, I put out a plea on Facebook.  Weirdest thing.  My mom had one in her storage container.  LOL.  Who would have thought.  John met my parents in the mountains to get it to me.  It needed some repair and some embellishments.  This is what I came up with.  It took me all day.
I used sparkly foam board to give the dragon scales.  The tail was falling apart, so I replaced it with a pretty satin I found and added ruffles at the bottom and spikes down the spine.  I wanted to add half a hula hoop as handles for the dances to hang on to the dragon.  I just haven't had time yet.   but it works.  I have to admit that it is impressive when it comes out on stage.  And now I am a proud owner of a Chinese Dragon.  :)

 By last week we added a few lights.  I am still programming cues.  There are still a few lighting instruments being added here and there.
 I finally got the picture frame hung.  I love it.  The Tech director thinks it looks dumb.  I don't care.  It is a statement.




 In all of this we are still trying to have a normal summer.  Kimber is nice enough to take people to the park to play in the new splash pad.
 Lilli and Case get along great and have tons of fun in the summer sun
 Some times I think they are more like siblings that their real siblings are.
 Lilli went to Cheer Camp at CHS.
 She made up some of her own cheers.  They made me laugh... but don't tell her.
 John took Lilli on a big over night hike.  It's not my thing, but they like it.  I didn't worry about it.  I figure John is a big boy and can figure things out for himself... that is until I was driving around working on Secret Garden stuff and heard the radio announcement that everyone in the path of a bigg thunderstorm needed to get indoors.  AHHHHH!!!  I called John's phone in vain.  I knew they were right there.  i couldn't do anything... just worry... pray... and spend the next 24 hours worrying more and not sleeping.
 First of all, they got a late start because they are slow getting ready.  They met my parents for the above mentioned dragon... they forgot a park permit and had to go back to Detroit to get on.  It was evening before they got on the trail.

Here is what John had to say about the trip:

"We arrived at the trail-head and prepared to depart.  It was about 4 pm when we got on the trail.  We had done better preparation for what Lilli should be carrying, and a little practice hiking - though not as much as last year.  We started out strong; the sun was shining.

From early in the day I caught myself initiating many “disputations” with her, or pursuing them when she started them up contradictions, arguments, etc.  As the “adult” I often feel my children should be grateful when I correct them when they misunderstand something or mis-state something.  Like the rest of my children, Lilli doesn't seem to appreciate this service I provide, but follows the example I set and she corrects me right back.  I committed to her early in the day that I would curb my argumentative behavior.  I had some success at that, but mostly remembered after the fact, and apologized.

 We headed into the forest and soon noticed the forest got extremely dark - much more than it should before 5 pm.  I knew a thunderhead was passing over.  We started to hear thunder in the distance, which was frightening to Lilli.  I told her about Lehi’s dream, and about the darkness and about the beautiful tree of life with the white fruit.

There were moments when the lightning struck close and she would scream and say she wants to go home.  We stopped walking a few times.  The wind blew needles out of the tops of the trees onto us - I thought it was rain every time it happened, but then I told her it was the fiery darts of the adversary.  She had enough concerns in her mind that I don’t think she cared what my lessons were at this point.

The most frightening thing for me was the wind.  Yes, lightning can be dangerous, but I figured as long as we were surrounded by tall trees in every direction, the danger for us was relatively low.  But at one point we heard a tree fall, and that got me worried and alarmed her.  A few minutes later I saw that we were heading into an area with younger, more slender trees, and that they were swaying violently at the top.  We retreated back a few yards, though I didn't tell her what I was worried about.   I said a prayer in my heart, and when I felt assured, we went forward.

 Meanwhile, the rain was finally making its way through all the fir needles to start wetting us.  I was a little slow getting out our pack covers and our rain ponchos.  I couldn't find mine the first few places I looked in the pack, so I got more and more wet.

Eventually we came to Ann lake, and there was still plenty of lightning nearby.  I didn't want to pass by the small open area yet, so we went into an area of thick foliage and stayed out of the rain for a bit.  

As the rain and lightning tapered, we continued our trip and arrived at Marion lake.  At Ann Lake there was a little tent beside the trail.  I exchanged greetings.  It was a woman who started on the trail just a few minutes before us.  

The weather was clearing, so we considered going around the lake.  But we were tired, and we couldn't easily find the trail, so we stayed on the near end of the lake - the only area I had explored to this point. We found a flat place to put the tent which had a log nearby to set out our things and use as a table.  There was also a laundry line close by.  The storm was gone, but the rain was still dripping heavily off the trees, so I tried to keep the rain fly on top of the tent while I set it up - normally you put it on afterward.  In the process of getting the tent up and the beds out of the packs and into the tents, I managed to get distracted and let Lillis bag get a bit dripped on before it went into the tent.  Oops. So I let her have mine and I slept in her's.

 We made dinner - hot chocolate to start, so we could warm up, followed by mashed potatoes, then a canned pasta thing which was kind of gross.  Our bodies were warming up.  Lilli wanted to get in her sleeping bag, so I let her do that while I did dishes and tried to prep our camp for the possibilities of rain and critters in the night.  I made one more pan of mashed potatoes and shared it with her through a small utility door.

Eventually I got myself ready for bed.  My mattress seemed too thin, and it was the slippery one, and the surface on my side of the tent sloped enough to get me off that lump in the middle of the bed anyway.  Worse than that was the fact that the bag Lilli brought was not a mummy bag, so my shoulders were cold until sometime later I decided to put on my damp sweatshirt.  About 2:30 I prayed for just one more miracle today, that I could sleep, and I did - for four hours.  I did read to her for a while til she fell asleep around 10:30.  At about midnight a frog was crawling in our rain ponchos, which were sheltering our boots.  I didn't know what it was at first and assumed it was a rodent or marsupial trying to get into our things.  The plastic was loud and woke me up, and in turn I woke up Lilli when I was trying to scare the intruder away.

Saturday morning was beautiful.  The sun came out and warmed things up comfortably in our shaded camp.  Some college-age guys had come in late the night before (they were one of the many reasons I couldn't sleep) and one of them took a bath naked in the lake where Lilli could see.  She turned away and didn't freak out.  We had oatmeal, hot cocoa and sausage for breakfast.  We got all our dishes done, played frisbee, and went fishing right by our tent for a while.  Actually, I think I did dishes while she fished - and I would come down and help her from time to time.  We aired our packs out, which had been under plastic during the night.  Eventually we were done with our fishing practice (no bites - not surprising) and ready to go on to another activity.  

We packed up everything as if we were ready to leave, except left the tent standing and and put all our gear into it except our daypacks.   That way we could come back to the tent for shelter if needed.
 We took our lunch and our poles and went around the north side of the lake for the first time.  We saw that there are many more good campsites, and many of them were occupied.  We debated (each other) about how far to go.  I wanted to get clear around to the east end. We didn't make it to the northeast corner, but close.  We found a place which might be interesting to fish.  And got out where we could see the sky and found that it was beginning to look threatening.  And we found that Lilli’s sandals had come loose and were not on her daypack where they should be.  We prayed to find them, and between that and the weather, decided not to fish but to return to camp.  

Lilli was quite concerned about the weather, and I don’t know if it was fear, inspiration, or good judgement, but she insisted and pushed/dragged me back to camp.  My map says our hike was 1.35 miles one way.  Without a pack she’s almost faster than me, but we’re pretty well matched.  On the return we found her sandals.  As we walked, like Friday, the humidity began to climb and we knew a storm was coming.

 As we got within five minutes of our camp, we considered stopping to fish. Where we stood we could see the thunderstorm active in the west, and that the weather was moving from east to west.  The storm was trying to spread back to us upwind, but we remained just out of its reach.  Whatever was coming from the east was out of our visibility.  We decided to return to the tent.  As we arrived it was starting to sprinkle, and the sound of thunder was growing closer.  There wasn't much wind, though.

We got into the tent - even had time to take off our boots and put them inside, in the corners.  There were several close thunder cracks, and then the wind picked up sharply and chilled the tent considerably.  Lilli could see the lake, and said, Dad, fish are jumping!

I turned to look and saw that the wind was whipping up the lake, and there were splashes that defied explanation.  She said, “are those apples?”  Then a few of the apples landed in the camp and I saw that what we had was golf-ball sized hail.  This was one of the scariest moments of the trip for me.  I had no idea whether our tent would hold out hailstones that big.  I thought they might pierce right through, so Lilli and I put our daypacks on our heads, huddled close and prayed for protection.  Eventually enough stones had hit our tent and bounced off that the fear was gone and we giggled a bit.  We looked outside in awe.

This lasted a minute or two.  As it moved off to the west we could hear the thunderous sound of the hail mixed with the thunder of lightning.  It sounded like a thousand horses running through the forest.  There was a convenient intermission where we went out and picked up some giant hailstones and got some great pictures.  Then some sprinkles started, so we got back in.  Then a “regular” hail storm came and nearly buried the big hail stones.  That was incredibly loud in the tent, and it got quite cold.  We got our sleeping bags out and got into them as the temperature kept dropping.  The hail lasted five minutes or so and the rain continued on for an hour.  The whole storm had us in the tent for about two hours.

The ground became saturated and the floor of the tent became icy cold.  That’s what got me into my bag.  We read some more from dawn treader.

When it eventually died down we loaded up our packs, got out of the tent and put it away and started down the trail. It was probably about five o'clock.  About an hour later than we had hoped.

The trail was amazing.  There was a mixture of pine sprigs and hailstones making a Christmas carpet that smelled nice.


 

 Eventually we got to the car, and found it damaged.  Dents in the metal and cracks in the windshield.  Mine seemed to be the most damaged vehicle, though I did see some evidence on others.  
I was so relieved to have John and Lilli home!  Seriously!  I was a bad!  but they came home safe.  Lilli will have something to remember for a very long time.  John will remember some great lessons too!  Every time he gets in the car he will be reminded of those lessons.  We only have the basics of insurance.  Thus, we don't have the means to fix John's car.
Also, this week Lilli got her hair dyed for her role in the Secret Garden.  We wanted her hair to match Jeff's hair (he plays her dad).  She loves this kind of stuff.  She was so excited.

 The process took a while...
She even got a "Mohawk"...  good bye blonde...
Hello red!

 We also went to Micheal Jessop's wedding reception.  Chad helped the Jessop siblings prank the get-away car.  Michael was not pleased.  He was even madder when they hit it a second time.  He may even have disowned them all.  meanwhile, Lilli helped Kimber by chasing Ben all around the place.  We eventually went home and just relaxed.  It had been awhile since we got to do that.
The last thing to report for the week is that I've been diagnosed as having an allergy to yeast.  It makes eating even more complicated than ever before.  Not only do I need to avoid wheat, dairy, and soy, I now need to avoid sugars that feed the yeast and yeast itself.  I even have to avoid fruit.  I am down to eating meat and veggies.  Hard to eat out or to eat on the go with menu choices to limited.  Finally, we open Secret Garden this week.  I will see how we survive.




Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Week at the Boyacks - The Aftermath

 The past week was a week of rest and catch up.  Seriously.  We had to dig out of the laundry monster, dishes stacks, and clutter all over the house.  All this is the result of mom's busy July and leaving Chad to his own devises.  I didn't really feel like accomplished must.  I did get a little extra, much needed sleep.  I did catch up on laundry.  I did do dishes multiple times a day.  I did walk around in my garden and eat fresh tomatoes, peas, zucchini, and greens.  I did make two baby blankets for someone who had a baby.  I did go to rehearsal.  I also went to my acupuncturist and other appointments... we now add yeast to the things I can't have.  I've got a serious yeast infection.... not the usual... I mean it's in my blood etc.  Thus, I'm on some stuff to kill it.  I also can't consume sugar, fruits or any grains for 6 weeks while we work at killing what I have and building up my body's ability to resist another flair up of extra yeast in my body.  Yeast is suppose to live in a body... not take over.  Mine is taking over.  They say this could be the root of all my other issues.  That would be nice because that can be cured by killing the current yeast and avoiding more later.  Anyway, sure makes coming up with food to eat even harder.

So now... eating is a chore.  I nearly cried when I went to the grocery store for my weekly shopping.  Not much I can eat... and what I can eat is super expensive!  Sigh... more fun adventures in seeking health.  I am hoping that I am making progress.

Meanwhile, the kids are doing well.  Chad works out for hours a day.  He considering entering a body building contest now.  When he can't get to the gym he improvises.  LOL.  He will use family members as weighs and resistance.  He is all registered to start school in September.  Sure hope he likes that.  Now, we just need to get the kid a job.
 Hannah is doing well in rehearsal.  She has been a great singing for a long time, but now she is starting to be a real actor.  Not only is she entertaining, but she is adding more and more depth to her character each rehearsal.  So hard to believe she is only 15!  I definitely need to get her into some kind of acting camp or something.  She is getting the best that Central can offer, but it would be nice if real acting classes were offered!  At this rate I could see her being very successful in college in a musical theater major.

 Lilli is doing well too.  She struggles with her lines sometimes, but she has a great little personality on stage.  It's hard because she gets half the practice since I double cast that part.  Still, she is coming along.  She is also excited because I signed her up for dance in the fall.   She will be a class helper to help pay for the classes.  She will be plenty busy this fall.

We have started gathering props for Secret Garden and we had our last rehearsal in the rehearsal space.  Time to move to the theater.
 Lilli has been babysitting a cat named Lily for one of my students.  we had a scare last week where we couldn't find her.  Lilli was very sad.  See... the cat is fast and many people around here are not observant and didn't see the cat escape when a door was open.  The cat was missing for 2 days and a night.  We said prayers.  We looked all around the neighborhood.  We made signs.  No cat.  Then, there she was... climbing up Chad's window screen.  She hasn't tried to escape since that.  She really is a nice cat.  She is friendly.  She purrs.  She likes people.  She is not like our other cats.  Lilli wants to keep Lily.  John says we need to reduce the numbers of animals around here.  I am choosing to stay out of it.  Oh wait.  It's me that volunteered Lilli to babysit Lily.  LOL.
 This is how we roll.  Kimber was nice enough to take Lilli to the park with Ben.  Ben is funny at the park.  He likes to walk UP the slide.  Silly boy.
 Kimber was watching another little girl so they all went and played in the new splash pad and fountain at Mainstreet Park.  I think Ben liked it.
 Lilli LOVED IT!



Meanwhile, Hannah went to youth conference.  This year they went over to Lincoln City.  She didn't take her phone (her only camera), so I stole this picture off Facebook from one of the other youth.  It's the dance on the beach.  You can pretend that one of those shadows is Hannah goofing off with Jacob and Emma.   Emma and Hannah said that the best part of the whole thing was when they were assigned to clean the beach they found someone's broken thong, and I'm not talking shoe here.  They were bummed that they couldn't all ride in the same car and that the lights in the room that the girl slept in never went out because no one knew how to turn them off.

After everyone returned from youth conference we packed up and went to see My Fair Lady at the Broadway Rose theater in Tigard.  I bought 4 tickets, but Liili didn't want to go and Kimber still had an extra person, so we offered the ticket to Emma.  We drove up and enjoyed the show.  It was pretty good.  Elisa was a good singer but not a good belter.  We all loved the father character.  My student was in the show.  She was fun to watch.  I like seeing the shows at that theater.  Sadly, I am not impressed with next years season.  There is only one show I'd go see.  At least the Pentacle Theater season is great!  I think we might get season tickets for the Pentacle season and a few other tickets for a few extra shows here and there.

We also celebrated Chad's birthday.  Sort of... Hannah was gone to youth conference... McKay is far away... Kimber and Ray went to the coast with the Jessops... and Chad really just wanted to sleep, hangout and work out.  John and I gave him a gym membership for the summer and some money for get weight lifting gear... Lilli gave him new head phones... John made him dinner... Jacob, Hannah and Emma tried to wake him up and give him a cake at 7 in the morning before they left for youth conference.  He told them to go away.  They came back the next day and did presents with him then.  They did silly random stuff and wrapped it all up... individually, including a paper clip... like he would do for Jon.  Goof balls.  He seemed pleased enough.  Birthdays are really under rated around here.  I guess that is my fault.