Written By Kelly Silver
We’ve finished our second week of shows and I’m getting the gist of how our daily routine will be on tour. The weekday shows have a call time for the cast of 7:30pm. We go in a little earlier to homeschool. It gives us plenty of time for sightseeing during the day. I would try to get some done at the hotel, but the concentration in the room is not there and there isn’t the space to work. I’m surprised by how little time homeschooling (when they get down to it) takes.
I’m regretting the curriculum I chose and I’m modifying it to suit the girls needs. Math I’m sticking to for both girls. It’s common core and exactly what they’ll need to know when they re-enter the school system. The reading comprehension for Olivia, I find a little basic. I’m not going to go too crazy about that. She has enough to do, but I have asked her to take a little more time on her personal reading. For Olivia’s composition, I’m not going to follow the course. It asks to create web planners and write about things like, what’s your favorite food? or what do you like to do? Instead, I’m having her write about the tour, places we see, history, language and food in each country. I was going to forget the history book completely. It’s covers each era in a page and a half. We’re covering history in way more depth on this tour, but she likes the book. It takes her about 30 minutes a couple of times a week, so she wants to keep it up. Science, we’re following, but honestly, I didn’t like science the first time around and it hasn’t changed.
For Eliana’s reading and comprehension I’m sticking with the curriculum. She only made it into her grade by a few days. She’s the youngest in the class and definitely needing more help. We’ve already had our fair share of outbursts from her getting frustrated. Composition was proving to be a real problem. She would be asked to write a story and given a list of subjects. She just couldn’t even start. She just kept crying that she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t think of anything to write. I just threw my hands up and said “forget writing about these subjects, just write about anything you want to” Again, she said she couldn’t think of anything. I suggested other subjects and tried to start her off, but then she got annoyed and said that it was my story. We both got really frustrated and I just wanted to pull my hair out. I told Clare about this. The next day Clare came into our room and told Eliana her walls in her office were too bare, She needed some artwork and stories for her wall. Eliana sat down and instantly wrote a story with a drawing to accompany it. Creative and neat! Why didn’t I think of that? Now she has been given the task of writing stories for the other walls. She’s kept this up daily and we’re all enjoying her stories. Olivia loves writing fiction, so she’s started writing a story about each character in Shrek before they were evicted from Duloc.
The dressing room has become a very multi functional room. It’s now been transformed into an airport. Boxes have been arranged as aircraft and members of cast and crew have been coming to take flight to the girls new land called “The Land of Doey”. It’s hysterical to see full grown adults squeezed into little boxes taking the ever so fast ride ;). I love this about theater people. They can continue to play as children so easily. In fact, it’s hard to tell who was enjoying the ride more. There are refreshments served and in flight entertainment.
Backstage also has it’s fair share of fun. Olivia plays clapping games with crew just before she goes on stage. Eliana loves being backstage and knows the entire show, she likes to sing the opening quietly into my ear. She’s also likes to bring the wig backstage for Olivia’s quick change and to return the wireless mic at the end of the show. By far my favorite part of being backstage are the moments Olivia and the Assistant Stage Manager, Shelby, have together. After Olivia has her quick change back to Young Fiona for bows, I leave her stage right and head over to stage left where she’ll come off. I watch them both dancing together for the final song. It’s so entertaining. They look like they’re absolutely loving it!
I do love watching Olivia from the sidelines. At nine years old it’s wonderful to see how professional she has become. She always asks me how her performance was. She’s so consistent, she really doesn’t need to worry, but it’s good that she does… I guess.