Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Not Over Yet...

This year's Dickens Festival is one I'll likely never forget.  I'm going to get it out of the way up front that if you haven't come yet, you should.  The shows are great and the Festival itself really is a lot of fun.  (Father Christmas, roasted chestnuts, unique Christmas gifts...)  But it's not the great shows or the fun festival that I'll remember this year.

It's the people.

I feel so blessed to have worked with so many people to whom I have a personal connection.  Katie Nielsen, for example, who I call Katie Hall every time I try to talk about her, because she was Katie Hall for the years I was her piano teacher, for the dinners I ate at her house, and in the pictures I have of her in 10-years-ago scrapbooks.

JJ, who now goes by Jacqueline, since she too has gotten married in the years I've known her.  She gave me my first shot in theater, allowing me to learn how to set and run lights, then asking me to assistant direct, and now giving me my first shot as full-blown director.

Sarah, an old roommate whose blog I've stalked for the last few years, who did far more than lend her Adam- and Alex-aged girls to the production, signing up for multiple nights of the less-than-fun job we call "Orphan Wrangling," and who kindly thought to send me pictures I'd have taken myself if I ever had the time.

Our #2's - a potentially dangerous combination
Shawna, who has worked at the front desk at my school for far longer than I've been teaching there, but about whom I could have told very little.  Not only are her four children in the cast, but she's volunteering as a "Head Wrangler," and she's even donated her husband to the cause.  I have to say, he's been the hit of the show for many of the orphans.

A line of orphans waiting to be spun by the tireless Vince (who wasn't even on Orphan duty that day)

The families in my stake who have, often without warning and always without complaint, taken Adam and Alex home when I still needed to stay.

My sister-in-law, Marie, who brings her son, volunteers, looks out for my kids, and never gets her feelings hurt when I often don't even managed to say hello.

My pet Skyler.  This one could be a whole blog post here.  He's been my sounding board, my complaint box, my M&M supplier, an extra uncle to my kids and the fixer of all crisis, not to mention the two most important titles, Assistant Director and friend.  Seriously, Skyler, I don't know how I'll do it next year without you.

Skyler - exceeding his duties as Assistant Director

And my mom.  The only thing more amazing than her talent and experience was the focus she put into making sure she did nothing but support my efforts in my first job as Director.  If I had been worried about the reversed dynamic, I need not have been.  It has been amazing to have someone as strong as her in my corner.

The Wrigley family, Rick, Richard, my dad, the Koop family, the Christensen family, the Lowry Girls and the Jensen boys who all came back from last year and were so central to our cast.

Gary and sons who can't help but bring everything they've got to the show.  (They get credit for our 12 foot tall Christmas Future.)

Arlee, Travis, David, the Whatcotts, Adam, Madi, Whitney, Greysen, Kylie and Hollie who've all worked with me "somewheres before," and chose to work with me again.

My NPA kids who willingly signed up for more Mrs. Casdorph and Mrs. Fife.

And the small handful who I've just gotten to know for the first time: Megan, Celeste, Amber, Nick, Lindsey, Bethany, and a few orphans.

So yes, I want you to come see the Dickens Festival, because the shows are great.  But really, I want you to come meet the rest of my family.

Come see us this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Utah State Fairpark.  Entrance to the Festival plus $5 parking gets you in to both shows.  Evenings at 6pm and 8pm, and Saturday matinees at 1pm and 3pm.


Kris said...

I so wish we still lived in Utah so I could come see the shows. I'm sure you are a fantastic director and it sounds like you have a wonderful second family backing you up. Way to go Andrea!

Sarah said...

People keep commenting about what a HUGE/crazy time commitment doing this must have been. True (tho our part was far less than others). BUT, I say a good trade-off for the great PEOPLE I have met/grown closer to/learned from!