Friday, June 5, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For...

CrazyLake Drama Camp for Kids—Week Two out of Three

My day starts at 4:57 a.m. when my alarm goes off. I drag Charlie out of bed and we're in the car by 7:20 and on the way to pick up Hudson. I wake up Hudson's entire neighborhood with "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In". He gets in the car in his KidsPlay shirt and his all important keys around his neck. He's wearing his Peace hat to get in tune with the music blaring forth. We circle back to pick up the Cole children and around to catch Hannah if she's walking. We arrive at the KidsPlay Studio at about 7:45 and there are Jayme and Spenser waiting for me. Hannah arrives, then Carie. Jayme is all business, all about getting me focused for the day: "Chris! What needs to be done?" Carie is all about hugs. Hudson establishes his territory in 'his' house, as if anyone had any doubts. Spenser was an excellent choice as she's great with the kids and I live to make Hannah laugh. We vacuum, lay out a craft activity, and I send her out for the snacks I didn’t have time to get the night before…. The kids start arriving and we engage them in a warm-up activity as we continue to plan out the day. Everyone is finally here and we go downstairs, escaping the grind of the power tools and the third floor construction, to play our Theatre Games. “This is a Pencil”, “Zip, Zap, Zop”, and role- playing games. We play, we laugh, we try to pull Lindsey out of her shell, and get Madison to focus, and allow Ian his Korean Boxer Moment. We go back upstairs for snacks. The counselors and I sneak M&Ms and Pepsis while the kids have apple juice and pudding cups. During Free Time, the kids dress up in the costumes I’ve brought in—hats, high heels, dresses, swords. Fun. The casting for our cutie, little pirate play is done and now it’s time to start the blocking. This is my moment—focusing them, directing them, creating art with these little people. Teaching them the basics, the fundamentals of facing the audience and projecting, of stage presence and movement. Such fun. I’m totally in my element.

And when I think I’ve pushed them as far as they can go, and their attention spans start to drift, we take them all back upstairs for a craft activity—toilet paper tube pirates, pirate bead jewelry, Walk of Fame star posters….and the parents start wandering in. Everyone seems to be having fun, the staff, me, the kids….and as long as the kids are having fun, the parents are totally on board. It’s fun…exhausting, yeah, but fun.

And once all the kids are gone, we jump in the car and go in search of food. We have approximately 55 minutes before we need to be back for our 1 o’clock rehearsal. Only time for the drive-thru….but these are stories for another day. Stay-tuned.

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