Since Grease I have been working on Fame at the Stael Ruffinelli de Ortiz English Language School. This time instead of merely being the assistant director and pseudo language coach, I will play the part of Mr. Myers, the acting teacher. But enough about me. Back to the students.
Even though the students in both shows are approximately the same age, they differ greatly in attitude, work ethic, and discipline. The Fame students come to rehearsal on time and prepared to work. It is such a welcome change from having to wait for 45 minutes to over an hour for the Grease students to arrive. And rehearsals are focused, solid, and productive. What a difference.
Do not get me wrong, Grease was a great show. The students did an excellent job and they really came together in the end. By the final performance they were comfortable with their characters, the audience, and each other. Yes, it was the last performance; however, there is an old addage in the theatre that I'll paraphrase here. It says that every show has a ton of dress rehearsals and closing night. This is exactly what happened with the cast of Grease.
Fame goes up in just over four weeks and I believe it will be a spectacular show. Everyone has been working incredibly hard singing, dancing, acting, memorizing lines, speaking in a foreign language and putting in more hours in rehearsal than most people put in at part-time jobs. Having said that, there is still a lot of work to be done before those curtains rise and "I'm gonna live forever" sounds throughout the theatre.
Now, maybe to balance out the superstitions of the theatre, I should say that the show will be a disaster. But where's the fun in that? Granted, I have been put into an extensive dance number where I will be jumping and spinning, picking up other dancers and putting them on my shouldes, twirling and galavanting all around the stage, but I still don't forsee a disaster. Wishful thinking? Not with two years of ballet and a Movement for Actors class in grad school that was really a cover for Intense Modern Dance 101.
Giving some instructions to the actors.
Working on lines and blocking with "Serena."