The Year There Almost Wasn’t a Musical
My high school puts on a musical every year and it was always one of my favorite activities. I was far too scared to try out to be in the cast, but I played in the orchestra every year. My senior year, we did Bye, Bye Birdie. It was a lot of fun, but the final performance almost didn’t happen.
See, it was the year the musical was cursed. There were a lot of internal disputes and the new choir director had a habit of yelling and walking out on rehearsals. To make matters worse, they had the cheerleading coach do all the choreography and she didn’t see why a girl with no dance or cheer experience couldn’t do a bunch of big tosses. The girl who played Rose (one of the leads) sprained her ankle, but she managed to bite her tongue and put up with it because we were about to do the performances and then it would be over.
Except it wasn’t. See, the guy who played the other lead’s (Kim) brother got the chickpox. Now, this part has one line (that every single person in the cast knew) and sings a couple group songs, but is no big deal. Instead of just replacing him with a guy from the cast line, they decided to push the musical back two weeks so that he could return. The girl playing Rose quit. We can argue over whether she should actually have done this, but after 8 weeks of rehearsals she was behind on homework, hurt, and exhausted.
So they replaced her. Of course, they didn’t replace her with someone in a small role, they used Kim’s mom, who had a number of lines and multiple songs, so they had to replace the mom too. Okay, so we have two weeks till the show, a new lead and a new supporting actress. They sprained the new lead’s ankle too (some people never learn) and rehearsals started letting out around midnight.
Then, something they had no control over happened. It snowed. A lot. Enough that the week the musical was supposed to be performed (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night), we got Monday through Thursday off. Well, Friday we all got out of afternoon classes to run the first and only full dress rehearsal before we performed the two remaining nights of the show.
The reason I tell you this, is that a lot of these problems didn’t need to happen. A minor character getting the chickenpox was not a major problem, but the fix caused a bunch of problems. Sometimes when I am writing I come across problems that I start trying to fix. Not all of them are small easy fixes, but when they are, I’ve found it a lot easier to spend my time finding the little patch instead of coming up with a complicated way to solve the problem. Besides, I wouldn’t want my lead to up and quit on me.