A Weekend of Musical Meham
Posted Wednesday, August 2, 2006, 09:37 AM
I had a wonderful experience this last weekend. My wife’s group, The Belles of Bedlam, did a DVD recording of their three shows in Escondido. After accepting an initiation to join the group three weeks ago, my wife has been thrown into a whirlwind of chaos to get ready for this last weekend. She had to make her costume herself, which includes a skirt, an underskirt, chemise (blouse/shirt), bodice with boning, on top of having to learn a large number of songs and lines for one of her character’s parts in the show. Needless to say, her life has been consumed by getting ready for these shows this weekend.
We left around 3:30pm on Friday from our home in Upland, knowing that it was going to be at least a 1 1/2 hour drive down their (it was 2 hours in traffic). The problem was that the dress was not 100% complete. So my wife had to put the last touches on it while we were driving. She gets car sick if she reads, so you can imaging how good she felt driving down there and sewing at the same time.
We got there, and finally found a parking space, and realized that we were the first one’s to the theater. Funny, because we were also 5 minuets late. Turns out we were not the only one’s who had problems. One person had a blow out on the way down, and had to change their tire. Other people got caught in the worst traffic possible, because they could not leave as early as we did due to this thing call “their day job.” Also, the Director of the group was running really late because she had to go all the way to Burbank first to pick up cameras and stuff for the shoot. This was a recipe for disaster ready to blow up in everyone’s face.
Thankfully, nothing did explode. There was an issue the first night with the camera, because none of us had ever used a pro-camera before and had no idea that we had to set the white-balance. But the group made it though the two shows they had plan to perform, with only a few mistakes, which is a miracle considering there was not dress or tech rehearsal for this first time run of the second show. The audience was small, but enjoyed themselves.
We retired for the night, after dinner at Applebee’s, to one of the cast member’s homes. My wife and I got a room to ourselves, but almost everyone else slept on the flour of the living room. We had about 12 people in the house (2 bathrooms), so by the time everyone had showered and we got to sleep it was about 2:30 in the morning. The next morning we were up and running at 8:30 to do a show in a local park that is more geared for kids. There were a small amount of fans that showed up, and a few kids. Not a good of a turn out as the group had hoped, but enough to have a lot of kids on the camera.
That night was magical. After a day of performing in the heat, and humidity, and feeling like there was very little turn out for this event, the theater was packed to the gills with people. One of the ladies in the group (and her husband) belong to a clan who goes to Ren Faires, and the whole clan showed up. The audience was loud, rowdy, and loved the show. The energy in that theater was amazing that night, and it was truly one of those performing moments that you just know there is nothing you can do that the audience will not love. The next day was also a good performance, coat tailing of the energy from the previous night, but for much smaller audience.
So what did I do while all of this was going on? Well, I could have sat on my butt and just watched as the group pulled things together, but I don’t well with the sitting still thing. They needed someone to help set things up, I was there, so I helped. I did set changes, set up cameras, moved props, loaded and unloaded stuff from cars and trucks, and did general back stage stuff to make sure that things were easy to find and use. I absolutely loved it. It really made me realize how much I dig the feeling that I am useful. I was not expected to do anything, but I was right in there in the trenches doing what ever needed to be done. Many times during the weekend the group members made it a point to thank me for my head work.
Yes, I like to hear thank you, but that is not why I did it. I honestly liked doing the grunt work. I felt like I was taking a load off of the people who were there, and helped make things more livable. Those people were working their asses off as it was, I helped relive a little bit of stress so that they could shine when it came time to perform. That’s what I do best!
Want to see pics for the weekend?
Here is the link for pics from the park: http://www.renaissancefaire.net/20060729-Belles-Felicita/index.htm
Here is the link for pics from the theater: http://www.renaissancefaire.net/20060729-Theatrx.htm
I can’t wait for the big bear fair in 2 weeks. It could be very fun.