Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting Back to Business after a Year Leave

I've been off-line for a year but now I'm back, and I'd like to share my year-long experience with you, if you don't mind. It's been a year full of surprises, hard work, laughter, worry . . . and I might add more that just a little stressful at times.

I was helping with my mother when I was asked by the Heritage Choir Board to be the committee chairman for a musical production representing the Southern Utah Heritage Choir. Couldn't I have said, "No?' No! I don't know how. Instead, I said "Okay," but I'll need a good committee."

I was given 6 committee members. But when they realized the time and work involved, they quietly backed away. But that wasn't a bad thing, in the long run because two women agreed to step and take their place beside me.

DeAnne is a retired music teacher from California, who had also been involved in musical production. Jeanine is a business woman who knows how to take care of scheduling, advertising, and whatever she needs to do to make a project work. Together we set our course.

The plan was to honor three pioneers, who were among the first to settle St. George. Once the research was done, I began to write the script. Writing a script for a musical is an on going adventure, and is only finalized during dress rehearsal. After the skeleton script was finished, it was time for auditions. Auditions went well. All of the adult characters were Choir members. Most of the 18 children and young teens were grandchildren of choir members.

Then came the practices with the actors, the musicians, the singers and the dancers. The musicians included four siblings who played the violin. The oldest is a 13 year old girl, then the 7 year old twins (boy and girl) and finally, the 5 year old girl. They were incredible and so professional. Then there was the professional flute player from Salt Lake city, Wow! he could make the flute sound like any musical instrument.(The only drawback here was that he couldn't be there to practice until the night before the performance.) We had a professional dance teacher to work with the children and the only thing we had left to do was to make sure the production was as professional as they were.

As the months went by everything was coming together, but we had no place to work a full practice when we needed it, so another helpful friend set up rehearsals in her ward gym. Our first practice on the stage at the Cox Theater in St. George was two days before the performance. We were told, in the beginning, that we would four days. Not so. But that didn't hold us back. Everyone worked very hard with the time we had to practice. We didn't have the choir with us until the night before the performance.

I have to interrupt myself here to explain something. Those singing in the choir hadn't expected such a professional show and were so impressed. The choir conductor didn't think we could pull it off without him being in control. He pictured a roadshow and told the choir that it wasn't important enough for all of them to be there if they didn't want to come. (though most of them were there, to our delight). In fact he had his assistant director direct the choir because I believe he didn't want his name connected with a failure. (don't tell anyone I told you that).

Our last, big concern was that we wouldn't have an audience. But our concern was unwarranted. In the Cox Theatre at Dixie State College, that night, there were only a few empty seats. The musical went so well that it brought tears to my eyes. Everyone--the children singing and dancing, the violinists, the actors in the three vignettes honoring the three pioneers, the choir, the flutist, and everything went without a flaw. The audience loved it.  Just goes to show you what you can do with the Lord's help.

In comparing this experience to that of being an author, I think if some says, "I really don't think you can make it work." Just smile and reply, "I'll show you."

As authors we have to have an attitude. We have to have faith in ourselves and not allow anyone to tell us what we can and cannot accomplish if we want success bad enough to give our best in order to have success.

What are your thoughts?




Vicki said...

What a wonderful experience! Wow! I would have loved being just a small part of it. Thanks for sharing your story!