The Purple Show dress and tech rehearsal last night went really, really well, from my point of view. I think the riggers and act captains might have had different opinions.
We got there at 3:40, with our backpacks full of snacks and books and toys, our unicycle and unicycle shoes, and our generally positive attitudes. Due to getting there early we got pretty prime seats, not too high up and near the backstage entrance.
The opening speech was about the same — you MUST listen and pay attention, every with long hair MUST have it pulled BACK, you must CLEAN UP after yourself.
The theme for this year seems to be Time Travel. Each act was costumed and had music invoking a different period in history (or science fiction.) The toddlers were wearing faux-Star-Trek jumpsuits and looked adorable. The toddler and kinder acts did their run-through, to much hilarity. Those acts are always a complete mess, but no one cares because they are so cute. There were, no lie, probably fifteen adults helping twenty toddlers get through the act.
Everyone who has an act in the first half did the first act walkaround. This is the bow at the end of the first act, but they practice it first so that people can leave after their act rehearsal is through. The walkaround was … rough. Chaotic, messy, and rough. But everyone shrugged and started in on the acts.
K was near the end of the first act. So, around 6:00, Acrobatics was called backstage to get their costumes on. The Acrobatics act is always a, um, a mess. It’s usually hugely crowded, for one thing, with two of three full classes out there. And it features a considerable range of skill and ability. But K did well and looked cute and arrived back in the stands with a sense of accomplishment.
The second act walkaround was a bit later. M went out for this, as Unicycle is in the second half. Afterwards, he … vanished. I was slightly alarmed, but I noticed that the rest of the Unicycle kids had also not reappeared. After twenty minutes one of his coaches came out and picked up his unicycle. After another twenty minutes or so, I went back to check.
He was backstage, in his costume, diligently practicing. I was very proud. He told me he was a little scared, because he didn’t know if this is what he was supposed to be doing. I hugged him and said he was doing great, and that I was pleased.
After interminable rigging delays for other acts, Unicycle was on deck. Miles came half-running out from backstage. He wasn’t quite crying, but close. He’d fallen, backwards off his unicycle, onto the concrete floor. He was scared, and he’d hurt his butt and shoulders. I gave him a big, big hug and sent him back to his act.
He went out without any problem. There he was, unicycling while holding on to the hand of a bigger (Unicycle III) kid. He made all his turns, he rode on the shoulders of his partner while said partner unicycled, he didn’t fuss or balk at ALL.
I was so very very proud.
There was a long moment after that, when I was wishing for a guy — one I could send into the boys’ locker room to FIND M. It turned out there was some sort of problem with his shoes. But eventually he came out, with all of his clothes on it the right places, carrying the shoes in question. After another few moments of searching we found the unicycle. I mentioned that he might try to remember when he leaves the unicycle in future shows. And that he really could ask an adult or older kid to help him with the shoes.
We finally got out of there around 8:40. The kids remained cheerful and pleasant all the way home, only getting pouty and overtired when confronted with the fact that, yes, they STILL had to floss their teeth before bed. There is no circus-related flossing exemption.
It was a good evening, though. Both kids were cooperative, responsible, cheerful in the face of tedium, affectionate, and they did their circus acts well. It’s days like this that make the other days pale and fade.