Tag Archives: school play

Twenty Things…

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Here are the twenty things I am most excited about right now:

  1. The next two days off, no rehearsals, no office. Just me and my beautiful babies.
  2. My 36th birthday on Sunday.
  3. The raspberry liqueur my brother and my sister-in-law bought me for my birthday that I am drinking right now.
  4. The lesson on the Wedding of Cana that we’re teaching on Sunday. He used the purification jugs! 20-30 gallons they held! God is kind!
  5. The talk I heard today by Wes Granberg-Michaelson on how to take care of your inner spiritual life while working in a leadership position in the church.
  6. For my birthday I will be making a girl date at my friend’s to watch Rushmore, the Wes Anderson movie I was really not sure about before I decided for sure that I loved Wes Anderson. Excited to finally love it!
  7. The school play, Aladdin Jr., is well on its magical way. I am three weeks into rehearsals as “director” and having a ball.
  8. The group of Moms helping out with the school play. My new assistant director and I figured out our babies will begin Kindergarten the same year so we are destined to work on the school play for a decade together. These ladies and I are going to be friends for life.
  9. I am excited that the children’s Christian calendar I illustrated for my church is going to be used in another church. I get to go see the training on Saturday.
  10. I bought CDs and books for my children for Christmas based on the qualification that they were something I would want to be liturgy, something I would want my child to heart-memorize. I succeeded. My two-year-old walks around reciting poetry. And my daughter has already memorized “Annie”.
  11. I love my coworkers. Last night we drove around the Mission district, had Mitchell’s ice cream cones, and saw our city lit up from Bernal Heights Park.
  12. My administrative assistant who is my brain at work and helps me be as super productive as I’ve always wanted to be. (I need a Leigh for home.)
  13. My stack of YA science fiction waiting to be read. This year’s resolution: read more fiction.
  14. The small stack of paintings on wood ends that I’ve recently covered with resin. They look great. I want to cover everything with resin.
  15. The fact that I was asked to do a linocut print for a wedding invitation.
  16. Seeing my artwork on someone’s wall.
  17. My husband’s indomitable motivation to work at things, old things, new things, new ideas all the time. Indomitable.
  18. The watch I think I might be getting for my birthday.
  19. The prayer tip my friend gave me for how she prays for her family. One phrase or idea from one verse prayed for each member of your immediate family.
  20. Doing things. Doing all the things.

Since I’ve Been Gone…

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Well, for starters, I’ve been dutifully sending off my little picture book manuscripts. I took the next step and began another blog called barbaralyonwrites.com and joined a little social media outlet called twitter, you may have heard of it. (@blyonwrites) The twittering rules are rather vague and I don’t quite know how to do it yet. These will be more exclusively used for writing and for the purposes of building that elusive support known as “the platform”.

Don’t feel neglected, dear little solongsuburbia blog, I haven’t been writing much over there either.

The elementary school play finished. It was glorious. I was officially tapped to take over directing next year and the kids applauded me heartily which was very sweet. I miss them and when I drop off my son at school I always run into a few of the cast members who sidle up to me with large smiles on their faces. And the question on everyone’s lips is, “What play are we going to do next year?”

The week after that was Easter and I was in charge of telling the story to the kids. I tell the story and draw it with pictures. It’s something I love to do and I managed to mostly maintain their attention, a feat which is not unextraordinary considering it was about noon on Easter and all of them were hopped up on chocolate bunny ears.

And the week after that I was supposed to drive down to Clovis and visit a dear friend and enjoy her baby shower. But scary complications on Wednesday led to an emergency cesarean and a baby in the NICU. So, instead of a shower there was a rather shell-shocked Momma, a glowing Papa, and a real beautiful little three-pound baby who is doing quite well. I painted the nursery. It’s Dumbo themed.

And the next day after that was…

My first day of work!

So, you remember that dream job I didn’t get? Well, I kinda still got it. I don’t have the experience, but they needed someone, so they delegated some of the responsibility away and made me a position. And it’s perfect!

I’m a children’s ministry associate of sorts for our church! It has been a very exciting week. For one thing, there’s an office and I go in to it. Secondly, the desk is a larger space than any I have in my little apartment and it’s all mine! (Actually, I found out today that I stole it from someone else, but they all assured me it was totally ok. He’s just an intern.)

I was rather overwhelmed on Monday, but Thursday was awesome. I discovered a festival of sorts in support of families of kids with disabilities and I booked us a table! It felt so good to do something. It feels so good to do something!

And today I was pricing kids Bibles all day. And they’re not that expensive! Bibles for all the children! Talk about the perfect job for Barbara.

Also, this job has been the proverbial static comb to my stream of running creativity and given me a little slant. I’ve been writing kids’ prayers and lessons. I have this new burning desire to write a kids’ Bible … one with dark people … and Asians. I feel like a jerk after looking at Swedish Adams and Eves all week.

And I might start yet another blog with coloring pages, activities, and other parent resources. I’ll let you know. TOO MANY IDEAS!!!

So, that’s a Panic Attack…

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Oh my goodness, people.

I was in charge of blocking a scene today. One whole scene and musical number, one hour of rehearsal, all mine.

I was bold. I was confident. I went over it. I went over it again. The director called. I told her I had it.

And I totally and utterly bombed, failed, miserably, absolutely miserably.

I’m not sure what happened. For one thing, the stage was much smaller than the one in my mind. Everyone was terribly squished. And then after I blocked their song I realized – they’re just standing there.

It was the most uninteresting thing I’ve ever seen.

And my chest starts to tighten and they’re looking at me as they say their lines and their parents are all lined up against the back wall watching me.

And a voice in my head says, “Barbara, I think you’re supposed to be telling them something right now.”

But I can’t open my mouth.

And then the voice says, “Oh my gosh, you have no idea what you’re doing.”

And then the voice begins calculating, “You have volunteered to be the assistant director and you know they have no director next year. You have as good as doomed yourself to this sensation for the next ten years until baby graduates from fifth grade …”

The voice was very unhelpful. My mouth had gone dry and I wanted to cry. I’m pretty sure what I had was a panic attack.

The director was there. She stepped in. She was having trouble reading my expression. She kept saying, “I don’t mean to step on your toes here.”

I shook my head. It was all I could do. Holy hell!? Was that a panic attack.

The director was very kind. She appreciated my “framework” and filled in the details. She fixed it. And she gave me a pep talk.

It is now 7:30 and I am curled up in bed in my pajamas. I will be watching a French movie and falling asleep soon after. Nothing else is getting accomplished today, nothing.

And tomorrow I’m preparing the crap out of my script for Wednesday.

And here comes the unhelpful voice, “But you thought you were prepared today.”

“Thank you!”…

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Did I mention that I may have volunteered to help with the school play?

Well, I did.

That’s right. You’re looking at the new assistant director. It’s my fault. I went to the meeting.

I’ve been getting the e-mails for months now about how they desperately need an assistant director for the school play. I wanted to volunteer, but I have a four year-old and a one year-old. How much am I really going to accomplish?

Also, I heard through the elementary school grapevine that the current director has been doing it for years and since her youngest is now in fifth grade, that’s it. She’s out. This is her last year, and so the assistant director’s chair falls in a bit more of a spotlight than I had hoped for.

Sure enough, in the first meeting after listing my minor and brief experience with theatre that far trumped anyone else’s experience in the circle one lady said, “I am so glad we have someone to direct the play next year.”

I said, “Let’s just take it one year at a time.”

So, now I’ve helped with the auditions, callbacks, and casting of an elementary school play and let me tell you it is like “House of Cards” out there, people! The politics! “So-and-so’s Mom is running costumes, she’s gotta have a line!” “This kid’s in fifth grade, it’s his last year!” “I’ve tried sticking this kid in a narrator part before and his mom was not having it.”

And … wait for it … I’ve already gotten my first angry parent e-mail.

That’s right. It was the last group of auditioning fourth and fifth graders. I was running dangerously close to my paid parking threshold and didn’t want to get a ticket. And the casting directors weren’t cutting any of the little darlings short. And some of the kids sang long songs.

Evidently, one kid the day before had sung an “original song” entitled “One Hundred Pirates on a Treasure Chest” to the tune of “One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall”. And he sang the whole thing. No one had the heart to cut him off and this kid sang his way all the way down to one.

So, I explained to the last group, after the fortifying blurb that, indeed, everyone was going to get a part, not to worry, blah blah blah, because heaven forbid anyone experience the sting of defeat, that we were running short on time and I would have to cut them off after a minute of their song. The first boy came up. His song of choice was “Radioactive”. After a good listen, when we had all made our notes I gave him a crisp, “Thank you” and a huge smile.

The next day I had an e-mail forwarded to me.

The e-mail referred to me as “that girl in the middle”, and listed my crime as cutting off her son before he could get to the chorus at which point in time his “darling personality” was supposed to have been revealed.

There was also a response from the director who defended me gallantly to the mother, which I appreciate.

But, I mean, well … welcome to the elementary school play, Barbara!