Thursday, February 11, 2010
I just want my mummy.
The bastard cold crept up on me like a wolf in the distance. Stress has been weighing on me slightly, no, that is a lie, a terrible, horrible lie...I have been feeling the stress like it is opening night every night. But the only difference is, opening night is opening morning and opening morning starts at 6am where I wake in the dark, shovel a handful of special K into my mouth and down a cup of instant coffee that tastes kind of like battery acid. Then we grab the costume bag, the curtain and the bag of song cards we have rightfully named "The Bastard Bag" jump into the car, drive to our destination and perform The Three Little Pigs just hoping that the houses stay up before the wolf blows them down. We get through the show, teach three workshops in a loud stuffy gym, run back to the curtain and prepare Peter Pan. After Peter Pan, we do three more workshops and if we are lucky, the school allows us to eat lunch with the children. We find a seat among the screaming children waving their hands and standing on chairs shouting "Io!!" "Io!" When we sit, we are bombarded with questions in Italian and some in English and it is an amazing experience. It is so fulfilling and rewarding and these moments are the ones that I must cherish. Not the fact that after lunch with these adorable children who look at me like a movie star, we must move to another school and teach a workshop to a bunch of middle schoolers who are just too cool for school. I have found that with most of the middle school aged kids,there is an inability to stay quiet during a demonstration or a show. Well, look kids, would you rather be in the classroom reviewing grammar or here, with your friends putting on a condensed version of Bugsy Malone, a show about children gangsters during Prohibition? I would chose the latter. I mean, duh.
I, Brandon And Felicia are sick as dogs. Sick as dogs in intensive care for dogs, hooked up to little dog IV drips. We all have the same thing and are taking the same medication but all wanted to die today. We arrived in the beautiful hill town of Bergamo this morning after a restful sleep in a lovely B&B. What could go wrong? The show was to begin at 8:30. we arrived at the school slightly after 8 to a bunch of yelling, kids waiting to be let in the door of the theatre. There was no one to let them or us in. We parked the van and unloaded it, then schlepped all of our stuff to the locked door trying to explain that we actually needed to set up for the show. That it wasn't going to be magically "ready" as we arrived. Well, they found someone to open the door, the Priest of all people, and I tried in my best Italian which I have found, sucks ass, that I just wanted someone to look at the car to tell me if it was in a legal place to park. I must have asked three competent women of the group and none of them would look at the car with me. I used my best miming of "My car is PAaaaaaarked over T-HERE-----...Is it O-K WHERE It I-S?" Nothing. Nada. Finally, I and Bran just decided to move the beast. So we jumped in, left Felicia with all the crap and drove down streets narrower than a newborn baby's foot and eventually found a spot. When we returned, the doors were opened and children were trampling in over Felicia and all of our stuff. Of course, when we grabbed the stuff to go inside, one of the teachers pulled me aside and in perfect English said, "You should have just parked out front, they never ticket when it is snowing..." Well...Thanks A LOT.
The show went on. The show was good. And I learned something. The show MUST go on. It is not about me, it is about the kids. It was a close one today. After I got knocked out by the hanging screen back stage where were setting up, it took every fiber in my being to not scream at the top of my lungs "FUCK FUCKITY FUCK FUCK" and run out of there crying. Instead, I just dropped into fetal position and let Felicia and Brandon close the curtain so the kids would not see me lying there like a narcoleptic cat. We got through the day, taught something good and the teacher was very pleased with us. She had no idea. No flippin idea. We are in a new city tonight. My voice is completely shot for tomorrow as are all of ours. I have green stuff coming out of my nose and mouth. I have a cough that sounds like a swan getting murdered, I had two bloody noses back stage yesterday, and fear that I have nose cancer, my feet hurt and my legs are on fire. I am in a town that smells kind of like raw sewage. I have Peter Pan, Three Little Pigs and Bugsy tomorrow. Despite all of it. I wouldn't trade this for the world. That does not change the fact that right now, at this moment, I still just want my mummy...
A bohemian lifestyle making good, touring Italy and teaching children through the magic of theatre.