Butterflies and Breaking Legs: Gearing Up for the Big Show

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All stills are from the dress rehearsal of “Putting on the Ritz,” our arts council’s annual musical fundraiser.  Originally conceived as a one-time event to celebrate the 80th birthday of the grande dame of our arts program, the event evolved into a spring showcase of our homegrown talent and a way to raise monies to bring professional performers to our little hometown. I am proud to say our town of less than 8,000 has one of the most active and thriving arts councils in the state.

I am exhausted and in pain and excited and nervous and eager all at the same time. I can only imagine the dozens of folks taking part in the show tonight and the next two nights are feeling somewhat the same way (except I hope the exhaustion and pain isn’t there!).  I know the director has butterflies in her tummy and so do I.

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We were up in the middle of the night–well, I’d never gone to bed and Benny hadn’t had a lot of sleep–watching the finished DVD.

We got nervous when it appeared that might be a problem with the sound, with Benny departing to watch the other copy on the other flat screen, but happily it appeared to be nothing more than a problem with my DVD player/TV connection *phew*

Benny had added an “old timey” look to a portion of the video, which worked beautifully, and the colors of the costumes were dazzling in the other footage. His close-up work shot at Monday night’s dress rehearsal was edited into  last night’s footage and really gives the video something extra the audience won’t get watching in the auditorium.

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I made a DVD sale sign in Photoshop using a red theatrical curtain backdrop I found for free online and we’ll display it on my table tonight, along with Benny’s tablet, loaded with the intro featuring more of my stills incorporated into an “American Idol” type of opening with a cheering crowd and lots of glitz.  And, of course, we will have copies of the souvenir DVDS . . . may they all sell this week and there be a demand for more, more, more.  *crosses fingers and toes*

We’ve put a lot of work into this; the folks appearing on stage, in the band and behind the scenes have worked even harder and longer, however. None are professional performers. We’ve got elementary and high school students, teachers, a city/county librarian, a newspaper editor, two judges, a lawyer,  juvenile probation officer, retail sales manager and more–a true cross-section of the community.

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They have jobs and families, homework and housework, church and social obligations, and they still devoted many nights of rehearsal learning songs and practicing dance steps. Numerous hours were set aside to design and make costumes, to build and paint the stage backdrops and create props.  It’s a labor of love, a labor for the arts. I hope we have full houses all three nights to cheer them all on!

(And OK, I wouldn’t mind selling a few extra DVDs. 😉 Hey, it’s my business now, right?)

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“Let’s raise the roof and have some fun . . .”  My former co-worker and editor, Kevin, who is now the city/county librarian, channeling his inner Lionel Richie for “All Night Long” number. Another former co-worker, now editor at a sister publication, is keyboardist for the show (and also plays the trumpet).  I have lots of talented friends, come to think of it . . . 😉

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

8 responses »

  1. What a town to be proud of! Looks like lots of fun was and will be had by all! Lots of luck to you all. Cwtches to you all, these a Welsh hugs so extra special!

  2. What a great effort! you have reason to be proud of your friends, your community, and your work. Wishing you many sales!

  3. Best of luck with it, Angie–it looks like it should be tremendous fun, and I hope you and Benny sell tons of dvd’s. Sorry you’re tired and in pain,but I’ll be sending lots of good thoughts your way this evening and always.

    • Thanks so much, Steph. We’ve already sold one (to my sister! she has old classmates involved in it, including the director) we are making 25 to take tonight, so we will see how it goes. I did stretch out for a while, altho I couldn’t sleep, and rested my eyes with a cold compress. Just took a shower and washed my hair. I have about 1.5 hours before hubby is due to pick me up, so not too long now. 😀

  4. I love, love, love Puttin’ On The Ritz and wish I could be there! Toi toi, chookahs and break a leg (um, do you say those things in American theatre? We do in Australia) and please do post a Youtube snippet for us faraway folks.

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