“Welcome Home” Chapter Nine- Rehearsals

24 Aug

The first few weeks of Seussical were spent almost entirely in practice for the opening number “Oh the Thinks you can Think,” which included everyone in the play. Even though all of the directors oversaw this song, Matt and Casey were largely responsible from beginning to end. They warmed us up first thing with jumping jacks and stretches to the beat of some popular song, whether it was “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz or perhaps an edited version of “Starship” by Nicki Minaj. A lot of times we all knew the song, so we would sing along with Matt leading the lyrics. The choreography for “Oh the Thinks you can Think” was energetic along with the rest of Seussical. I loved dancing, even though I had never danced to speak of before this play. Because of my lack of experience, it took me a while to learn the dance moves correctly. I especially had a problem with the “train,” which is where you rock back and forth on one foot. However, I would get confused with which foot to place in front of me and I always fell behind the rhythm of the others. Matt placed me and one younger girl in what he called his “special class,” but even though I tried my hardest, I still did not get it. The other girl learned almost immediately, but Matt had to call Mrs. Jana to come over to help me so that he could teach something else. In just a couple of minutes, I had managed to confuse Mrs. Jana’s direction too, so we had to call Mrs. Hillary. I might have eventually learned the step, but then at the next practice I learned that Matt and Casey had dropped that part of the choreography because “some people” did not get it. Haha. Since I was the only one left in the class who was having a problem with that step, I knew that comment was being discreetly aimed at me. From then on, I decided I would try harder than ever to get those steps right. I really wanted to impress Matt and Casey. It was embarrassing to be one of the oldest girls in the play and be the worst dancer. I practiced harder and thought I was finally getting into the groove of one Irish move that was in the latter part of the song, when Matt gently corrected me. Again. I had been putting my foot in front of me instead of behind me when I jumped. He just laughed, though, and told me that it seemed completely counter-intuitive to dance the correct way, but that was the way the number would be acted.
On the acting channel, my friend Katie would be Mrs. Mayor in the blue cast, I would be Mrs. Mayor in the red cast, and Logan Wagner would be Mr. Mayor in both casts. That created quite a bit of a joke among the students. Katie and Logan went to school together and he tried to embarrass her in the halls, calling her names such as “wife-ie-poo.” Logan was a mischievous mess. His habit of talking during practice sometimes infuriated Matt to no end. I remember one time Matt caught him talking at the very beginning of the director’s notes and he just marched over there and was like, “Logan, if I catch you talking one more time, I swear, I will…I do not even know what I am going to do with you!”
Katie and I were always worn out by the time practice ended partially because of Logan’s antics, but we all thoroughly enjoyed being in the play with him anyway. He definitely made sure we were not bored, even when we were waiting while everyone else practiced “Biggest Blame Fool” for hours on end. That was another big number and everyone except for us and a couple of other people were cast in it. We could not be in it, though, because “Here on Who” was one of the next songs and there was no way we could make a costume change quickly enough.
A young girl named Emily was Jojo, Mr. Mayor and Mrs. Mayor’s “son.” It was so much fun practicing with Emily and Logan! Their acting was a lot more energetic than mine, a quality that they helped me with. I was too quiet; Matt would pace the back of the auditorium and would yell, “I can’t hear you!” I would then practice a little louder. Seussical soon became a very welcome place to be indeed; everyone shared their struggles and genuinely wished good fortune on their fellow thespians. They became like another family to me, especially the Jacksons.
I really got to hang around the Jackson family for a while after one practice. I did not have a cell phone to call my parents when practice was over, which almost created quite a dilemma. Practice let out a little early for whatever reason one day and my parents were still not there twenty minutes later. All of the students had left and even most of the directors had gone home. The Jacksons were the only people that were still at the Warehouse and they were about to go eat at Cracker Barrel. I remember sitting outside on that cool fall night talking to Oakley, waiting. Then I came inside A Thousand Hills Coffee, which was in the Warehouse building, and waited some more. Lakeland and Mr. Kevin were beginning to wonder if everything was alright, so Mrs. Jana let me borrow her cell phone. I got no answer, so I began to panic. Mr. Kevin immediately said that it was no big deal; they would go nowhere until my parents showed up. I did not want to ruin the Jacksons’ plans for dinner, but at the same time I was very relieved that I would not be left alone in a coffee shop full of strangers. Luckily, Daddy came before too much longer, but I was still grateful for everyone’s kindness.
I have a lot of short journal entries about these special Wednesday nights that I want to share. Here are some of them below:
Wednesday, August 29, 2012,
I did school and practiced all day. Gran and Granddaddy stopped by for a little while. Practice went well tonight. We practiced choreography for “Oh the Thinks you can Think” and acting for “How to Raise a Child.”
Wednesday, September 5, 2012,
I think we worked on choreography again. I got put in Matt’s “special class.” At least I know the dance steps now.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012,
Today was practice again. We [mostly] practiced “Here on Who” in another room while everyone else practiced “Biggest Blame Fool.”

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3 Responses to ““Welcome Home” Chapter Nine- Rehearsals”

  1. Sarah Spradlin August 24, 2014 at 4:41 PM #

    Love it as always! Keep posting 🙂

  2. brookenicolenorris August 24, 2014 at 4:55 PM #

    Thanks, Sarah! 🙂

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