Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sound Off: Football and Theater

I was delighted to come across a viral post translating football lingo into terms theater geeks like me might be able to better relate to.  A few of the comparisons were spot-on and others were a total stretch, but it helped me fondly recall a running gag I'd developed during Adam's football season this year.

It started with the week-long tryout held at the end of July - the callbacks - if you will.  At first, I assumed this would be more like an audition, but as the boys spent time meeting the demands of the various coaches, the callback status became apparent.  And, to be honest, I got a bit jealous of the coaches who got to hold a week-long callback!  If only I had that kind of time as a director.

We were in Puerto Rico, anxiously awaiting the day when the cast list would be posted.  Adam had been working with the A team coaches quite a lot during the callbacks, and we had high hopes for him.  And thanks to one particular defensive coach who saw some potential in him, he got cast.

And so the rehearsals started.  One solid month with five rehearsals per week.  I soon learned that while it was important to practice the individual skills they would need, much of the rehearsal time was spent learning choreography.  Each boy had a specific place to be with a specific job to do and a specific pattern to run.  They practiced these over and over again until each player knew his role in the dance.

Finally, the performances came.  Opening night was particularly fun, since it was the fundraising game.  Adam had lots of fans in the audience including grandparents and even Nick and Hunter.  Alex and Dylan always particularly enjoyed intermission when we would let them run around and take a break from watching their brother play.

Adam started out as a lead, but when his effort didn't quite match the expectations, his coaches demoted him to understudy.  He didn't get to be on the stage quite as frequently, but I still enjoyed watching as many of his performances as I was able to attend.

I wasn't there for closing night, but Adam told me that several of his teammates cried.  Their season was over (and they lost in the playoffs).  All that was left to look forward to was the cast party, when we would get to watch a slideshow, Adam would receive memorabilia to commemorate his participation in the group.  No one parties like theater people - but those football kids came pretty close!  And although Adam says he doesn't plan to audition this year, I am excited to see what kind of role Alex might get.