It’s long been an idiosyncracy of my nature that while I love art (and started college as an art major, even) and literature, I just can’t get into graphic novels or comic books, no matter how hard I try. And I have tried. (You’ve met my husband and most of my friends, perhaps? Geek squared. Love ’em.) I can’t even get into Neil Gaiman graphic novels, which is saying something as I’m a huge fan of his fiction, and I do find the artwork brilliant. Something in my brain just…doesn’t…compute.
The same sort of thing happens with Musical Theatre. I love plays. I love music. I dislike them together.
I recently compared myself to the King of Swamp Castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in that every time Herbert starts wanting to sing the drama around me, I turn it off. Just the way I am.
And, of course, just as most of my friends love comics, I, too, am surrounded by people who love musicals. I mean, my husband and half my friends direct and/or act in them. And I love these people.
Here’s the funny part (you knew it was coming). I’m now the new artistic director of the school musical at my new job.
I’ll pause a minute to give everyone who knows me a few moments to giggle, snort, and thank the gods for the gift of irony.
Done yet? No. Okay, I’ll wait.
Okay. Yeah. So, I like a challenge. And, as I also recently said, trying to bolster myself, at least it’s not Prom Advisor (an activity for which I have so much venom and nausea that were I Queen of the Universe, I’d eliminate entirely from schools everywhere). So, it’s not all bad. And I’m not alone–the school’s new Music teacher will be my partner in crime, and our correspondence thus far has been a lot of fun, and I look forward to working with her.
The problems remain, however. I, a person whose only musical theatre “likes” are Jesus Christ Superstar (how can you NOT like that, and I’m not even religious), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Tim Curry in a merry widow trumps all musical qualms), Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s “Once More With Feeling,” and Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog (these last two are Joss Whedon, and if he were holding *prom* I’d love it, no matter what) has to find something workable for high school students–students I’ve yet to meet in a school I’ve yet to work in–and put on a production before Thanksgiving.
I’m suddenly finding myself in my husband’s bailiwick, saying things like “perusal scripts” and “performance rights” and “blocking.” I never wanted to be in my husband’s bailiwick, and it feels very strange. HE SHOULD BE DOING THIS, is what I’m thinking. HE’S THE DIRECTOR, not I. I teach plays and occasionally act in Shakespeare. I don’t know from choreography and cheating out and periaktoi*.
On the other hand, I like learning new things, and like I often do, I’ve jumped into this with both feet. I’m scouring online for titles and terms; I’ve bookmarked “how to produce a musical” websites. I’ve posted to facebook and watched the hilarity ensue. And, of course, there’s the fact that on long drives, my husband and I like to sing select musicals, a capella, together. (I cannot sing. I can read music, and I did have eleven years of piano lessons and short stints of clarinet and guitar lessons.)
But all of that prep work is a cakewalk to actually facing a group of kids, night after night, to put on an actual show. I’m terrified. And excited. And laughing my butt off about the whole thing.
* I call these things pterodactyls; far easier. 🙂