Now after many years of raising a family, she was recruited to choreograph the High School Musical at her kid's school. They are presenting "The Little Mermaid" in two weeks. She called me all stressed out about how behind they seem to be. Here it is Tech Week, and next week is Dress Rehearsal week. She thinks they should be further along towards polishing, but some of the actors are way behind.
As we were talking, she remembered something her High School Drama teacher would say. He'd tell the company, "There's only one thing standing between you and the audience on opening night and that's the director. He's here to make you look good so you won't embarrass yourselves."
High School students are so busy. And add to that a notorious lack of understanding how to pace studying. Sometimes, the only thing you can do as a director is remind the students that their performance is all up to their own efforts. Their show is only as good as the weakest performer. Lack of effort in one or a few can wreck the chances of success for all.
My daughter said that during the first creative rehearsals, seeing the student's progress learning the dances was almost euphoric for her. To see something she had only imagined start to take shape and become real was like giving birth. Then, as the rehearsals progressed and more and more parts were added to the show, some of the precision of the dances was lost. And now, the time for drilling and polishing is over.
These little birds must leave the nest and fly on their own now! She cannot dance with them and shout out directions anymore. She can only give them NOTES. It is up to them to take the feedback and do the polishing themselves.
Almost every show goes through this time of stress for the directors. But I have faith that they will pull together and do a good show!