Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mom the Rehearsal Mistress

 The twins graduate kindergarten in about a month and to celebrate it, they wear little mini caps and gowns, walk onto stage, receive their scroll (conferring them honours for finger painting, playground and sand play), take a bow and curtsy before strolling off. After that, they put on their dancing shoes and do a song and dance for us. From what I've gathered,  they've been rehearsing hard at school.

Jordan came home brandishing a piece of paper. She explained that she had to learn everything on the paper and say it without it. She had lines essentially. She was one of the three narrators for their performance and she had to be word perfect by November 2.

I had flashbacks to the time in secondary school where I had to emcee my school's Awards Night concert. I had no one to really help me and it terrified me massively. I remember muttering the lines every night as I fell asleep. 

So for Jordan, the most important thing is to treat it like it's a normal thing. People go up on stage and speak all the time. Right. Well, at least I can try and make it as painless as possible.

So, how do I help her?

So my job has been to make sure that she can pronounce words like "environment", "practically", "sumptuous" and that she says words like "salmon" correctly. It's taken me back to teacher training days where we were taught to pronounce words like "pronunciation", "vehicle" and "restaurant".

For Jordan, who still doesn't understand grammar rules implicitly, she remembers the big words but not the verbs and articles which hold no meaning for her.

I get her to stand on a raised platform. A chair, a stool, she wanted the dining table but I was slightly worried about the fan lopping off her top part of her head among other things. We all gather on the floor and watch her.

I tell her to look at us in the eyes.

Her brother balances a lion atop her head and this time I don't take it down. I tell her to keep the lion on her head. It helps her stand straight and not "goyang' like a palm tree.  She's learnt the meaning of the word "goyang" since.

After a week of practicing, the hardest bit is getting the lines out of her without the script and with minimal prompting. I've taken to contextualising her lines by asking her questions that would lead to the lines as answers. So far, it's helping but that soon will have to go.

It's coming along.

All I know is that being a stage mom and rehearsal mistress is hard work. 


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