May 20, 2011

Stress Rehearsal

Day one of the spring show.

Observation 1: nature abhors a vacuum
Manifestation: if you put all the disappearing coaches at a single station, the closest moms will step into the void. Better hope they know what they're dong.

Observation 2: The costume ladies are the ones who are actually in charge
Manifestation a: Kids are not allowed to wear the costumes that were ordered for them because they are "too fragile."
Manifestation b: It somehow makes more sense to require that 27 children ages 7 to 11 to go back and forth to the costume room four times (for the group number and back, for the finale and back) and "sign out" the costumes, and then go back and sign them back in. Twice. Did I mention that they're asking second graders to sign a piece of paper stating that they will bring the costume back? Have these people ever actually met a second grader?
Manifestation c None of the girls actually managed to get into a costume. Everyone in the number was wearing something different.
Correllary: See Observation 5, conclusion

Observation 2: the most clueless person in the room will ultimately be the only person anyone will believe.
Manifestion: Oh, you mean the children are all supposed to be together when you need them? I didn't think you were serious when you said you wouldn't hunt for the children in the stands.

Observation 3: there are 2 kinds of moms in the world.
Manifestation: The sensible ones ask for instructions from the people most likely to know what's going on. The ninjas will dispute this and stand there arguing until it's too late to actually fix the situation. The nearest coach will be blamed.

Observation 4: the children are actually the ones in charge
Manifestation: Wrong costume, skates in dad's trunk, glitter, lipstick doesn't match my dress I have to go to Walgreen's, missing the group number so you can get your picture taken with grandma (and then ninja mom wants to run the number again), glitter, "stay in your area" means "go where you want when you want," glitter, and the unshakeable belief that you can be in a dance recital and a skating show at the exact same moment because "daddy said I could do both."

Also, glitter.

Observation 5: no one is willing to concede authority to anyone else
Manifestation: I feel like the lines of authority are clear. First line: official volunteer Kick it upstairs to: any coach or actual employee of the rink. If still in dispute: person in charge of specific area (lighting director, costume director, etc.). Final say: Skating director.
Conclusion: The person who actually turns out to be in charge is the visiting grandmother of the child who has missed every single rehearsal.

Observation: your ability to relax falls in direct proportion to the number of people telling you to relax.
Query: Did telling someone to relax ever actually have the effect of helping that person to relax?

For the view from the rafters, check out Why Me, St. Lidwina.


  1. To be fair, I felt sorry for the costume volunteers. Some costumes not arriving even on the day of dress rehearsal is ton of stress on them. Add crying girls and long lines, grrrrr.

    Observation 1 certainly does not make their lives easier though, I wonder whose idea was it?

  2. The costume process needs work. Cramming every performer into a tiny room with a bunch of volunteers, only two or three of whom know how to sew or tailor, isn't effective. IMO, there should be one process for the PreFab costumes with lesser skilled sewers overseeing those alterations/repairs, with the Custom Costumes being done by the experienced seamstresses.

    Hate to say it, but the PreFab costumes are really high maintenance for the abuse that little skaters put them through.

    No one needed to be crying. It's Dress Rehearsal, and the purpose of Dress Rehearsal is to work out problems. It's OK.

  3. SM I'll tell you the saga of the costume room some time.

  4. Stress Rehearsal - that would be a great title for a book!

  5. Jenny, it's yours! Can't wait to read it!

  6. Oooh - that's tempting. Thanks so much!

  7. Just don't forget to credit me!

  8. Another local rink that has a spring show uses a seamstress to create all of the costumes. I visited her for a repair to a synchro dress and saw LOADS of costumes on her racks for aforementioned show. These costumes were made to measure. Perhaps your rink should consider this route as opposed to prefab costumes. IMHO, the prefab costumes for the spring show often resemble hooker attire.

  9. And give the costume ladies even more control? Bite your tongue. Besides, I think 9 year olds dressed like hookers is adorable. ;)