Thursday, June 18, 2015

Funny GIRL!!! (by Emma)

Central Valley High School is well known for their phenomenal theater program, and last November through March I was able to see why. I got to preform in the winter musical Funny Girl, the story of Fanny Brice and her experiences in the theater, and I had a blast. It was a lot of hard work (even though I was just a chorus member) and it took a lot of time, especially during the last month. Our directors (including singing, dancing and acting) all had a lot of experience and did a great job dealing with the 40-something teens we all called a cast.

Mrs. Fanny Brice doing her famous "Baby Snooks" show

From beginning to end there was a lot of work and effort expected of us, but, as I begrudgingly came to understand, that's what made us and our program stand out. After try outs were finished we quickly understood our life outside of the school had almost disappeared. Practices were every day after school and lasted to about 6-6:30. We were also given home work from Mike (the director, who has been in countless Broadway shows himself), he had each and every cast member regardless of their part (stage hand, to Mr. Ziegfeld, to Fanny Brice) write a 5 page paper about their characters life, hopes, dreams, family, etc. on top of learning lines, lyrics, dance moves, blocking, or (in my case) how to walk down stairs in heals with 2 text books on your head. But it was still fun. I had friends with me all the time and got to meet a bunch of new and amazing people. As the show progressed we began to add time-period, authentic costumes, make up, hairdos, and props.

For one of my parts I was a show girl, a Ziegfeld Folly. Florence Ziegfeld was the biggest producer in the 1920's and 1930's, he was very rich and spent TONS of money on his shows, his girls (the Follys) were known for balancing insane head dresses on their heads, and mike wanted us to be as accurate as possible (hence the balanced books). The biggest head piece in our show was about 6 feet across and 4 feet high (thankfully that one wasn't entrusted to me). We got to build our own head dresses and the costumes that went with them (with supervision and direction from our costumer). 

Ziegfeld Folly (fairly small head dress)
Biggest head piece (i helped make it :) )
This is my costume the red lace was over my shoulders.
The week before opening was named by the very first CV cast Hell Week. This week consists of early mornings, normal school, show practice that starts 15 min after school and lasts until between 9 and 11 at night. When you get home you have to do any homework from your classes that day and hopefully getting to bed around midnight. We were also surprised with the LATE Saturday practices. 

The show it self was crazy and scary and exciting and educational. We all really had to learn how to roll with the punches as lighting, sets, props, ques, and lines all got messed up. There were quick changes, falls on stage, and messed up choreography, but performance nights were my favorite part of the whole thing. Being on stage was nerve-wracking but also different from anything I've ever done before, and the hours prior opening were the best. We'd get there 3 hours preceding curtain and everyone did their hair, costuming, and makeup together. There were pounds of make up (we all said we weren't wearing our faces, we were wearing someone else's face painted on to ours, because of all the makeup) and gallons of hairspray (we might as well have been wearing plastic helmets for the solidity of our hair). We got a lot of time to bond and sing and eat and laugh together, and before the show started we had the coolest pre-show ritual.

This is my dinner after our first show at 12:47 a.m.
(notice the ridiculous amount of make up)
An hour before curtain all the cast and crew who wanted to were invited to join our big prayer circle, we had an average of 45-50 kids a night who all held hands in a circle and took turns praying to our respective God or just the universe. It was so awesome getting to hear all the different kids from different backgrounds with different faiths and beliefs thank God for this experience and asking his help so we could preform our very best. You could totally feel the spirit and love that we all had for each other and that our Heavenly Father had for all of us. I totally know this made a difference on stage and off for all of us, cast, crew, orchestra, and directors a like.

The show itself had some good nights and some not so good nights, but over all it went really well. Everyone was very mature when dealing with the hiccups and we had a lot of fun.

Some of the best people in the cast, loved working with them
But with all the late nights, and the short tempers, and the hours of practicing and building and tear down (after the show) it was an amazing opportunity and I'm so glad we could I could be a part of it, and cant wait to do it again.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Birthdays in the last year

Is this really something that needs to be blogged?  I mean, I know it's totally boring for any readers out there, but is it interesting for posterity?  I don't know.  How about I just make it brief?

(I don't even know where to start, it's been so long...)


Turned 14.  Happily joined the teachers quorum at church. (He's the youngest of his friend group so he is READY to hang out with all of them again).  He really cares about food and so we tried to get it right for him on his birthday:  peach french toast for breakfast, appetizers for lunch, Subway for dinner and fruit pizza for birthday cake.  He also really loves sports and his buddies, so they had a soccer game with sports drinks and costco cake for his party.  

Turned 9.  According to my pictures, he had clam chowder and smoothies (with ice cream not spinach) for his birthday dessert.  We got him huge Lego sets that he built once and then never played with again.  It wasn't his party year and my calendar and instagram have no other information for me, so um, I'm done.

Oh!  I remember hers!  She turned 6 this year.  Her birthday was on a Saturday that included a huge cross country meet and a soccer game, both (luckily, actually) 2.5 hours away.  We wanted it to be a fun day for her still, so we rented movies she liked for the ride down and let her pick the lunch spot.  We found this hot dog restaurant that had crazy gourmet dogs and the owner made her a special birthday plate.  So nice.  When we got home, we did a late birthday dinner with pumpkin dessert for her cake.  She got a new bike which she was SUPER excited about because the old one was so little and so slow for her.  

The big one year birthday!  (Honestly how nice is it that you have no pressure to do anything for the birthday kid because they have no idea it's their birthday?)  I made him a smoothie and a pancake, took him to a bouncy house indoor playground thing and we did a Hungry Caterpillar cupcake cake with a very few presents and decorations...totally just for his siblings.  It was a good day.  We feel lucky all the time that we have that cute smart kid.

Another big one!  16!  Without going into detail, it was a little weird.  There's all this anticipation for Mormons turning 16 and dating and it didn't quite work out with the guy Emma was expecting to be her first date.  Boooo.  It was a boring school day with a dessert I could tell she wasn't too excited about. BUT! I pulled off a fun surprise party the next day.  The kids had Friday off, and so I did a breakfast party.  I arranged for her to go babysit a friend's kids early in the morning while everyone showed up and when she got there, I think she was pretty surprised.  We had a crepe bar and the kids just hung out and talked.  ( I debated games, but you really have to convince teenagers that games are fun and I was too scared to try).  Anyway, it was one of those birthdays where you really are shocked that time has passed and wish you'd cherished it all a little more. 

We arranged to use the Grandma's Christmas money to spend a weekend at a local ski resort over Ryan's birthday weekend.  We stayed at a friend's condo and watched movies, ate out, skiied a little (hardly any snow this winter!) and used the resort's indoor waterpark.  Poor guy was exhausted but it was a fun day.  He turned 40...a big numbers year for the Romneys.  (But who really cares about 40 in the end, right?)

She turned excited for Young Women's!  We had omelettes and orange julius for breakfast, I arranged a swim date at the Daines and they invited us to stay for a BBQ after. Everyone loves the Daines, so I was glad we could do something special on her birthday.  I made a KILLER macaroni a cheese dish with an amazing Strawberry lime cake for dessert and she got most of the presents that she had listed out months in advance.  

And we are case anybody doubted we got older and that I didn't forget any of my family's birthday or didn't show my love for them with mounds of homemade fattening food:  here's the evidence!