Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A different sort of Friday

I was a little surprised when I got the email asking if I would be willing to be a judge at the Davis School District Jr. High Drama Festival. And though I was flattered, I wondered if my friend Jason was getting somewhat desperate if he was asking me. All the same, Jason and I first met when we did a show together a few years ago and we take voice lessons from the same teacher so he knows that I monthly attend master classes where I perform in character. And though I'd probably be better at judging a vocal department's solo and ensemble....all the same, I supposed (and so did Jason, apparently) that I had what it took to judge a bunch of young jr high teenagers. Still, I was a little nervous. I wanted to do right by these kids. My theatre experience was of a more adult level. I was worried that it would take some adjusting to discover what was great and not-so-great at a jr. high level. I didn't want to find out half way in that I'd been judging the first few performances too harshly, you know?

I was worried for naught. The performers were amazing! I mean, obviously jr high, yes...but wow! They got up there in front of me and threw it all out there. And I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised, because that's what true drama geeks do. If they are serious about theatre, which obviously these kids are if they are competing in a big district festival, then they don't care about what others think...they just put everything out there on display as if to say, "this is me...love it or lump it, this is what I do." Julianne is the exact same way. And it always amazes me because I was so much more insecure and shy when I was her age, always too worried about what people thought, not wanting to stick out too much.

They were all so great that my biggest problem was how to rank them. Oh, I gave them constructive criticism and feedback as to what was really great and some little things that they could work on. But I was very impressed overall. I judged three sessions...pantomime, dramatic monologue, and humorous monologue. And then in between each session we were to take our judging papers up to the judges room. They had snacks for us to munch on. And, as theatre people in their outgoing, social sort of ways are wont to do, we all got to know each other really well. We sat around tables finishing up our comments on our judging papers, sharing experiences of what we had just judged, sharing experiences of past shows we'd been in or seen recently, and laughing. A lot of laughing.
But then as soon as my judging stint was over, I switched from theatre mode to hiking mode. I picked up Bryan and Lilian at the office, picked up Brandon and Andres from gymnastics (Rebekah and Julianne were at a young women church retreat) and then headed up the mountain. A quick stop to drop of the kids at Andres' house and to change from my little black dress and heels into jeans and hiking shoes...and then to the trail head where Bryan and I met up with Hade and Frederic (Andres' parents) and other friends of theirs to celebrate Hade's 40th birthday. Hade had worried earlier that the trail she wanted to hike was rather steep...but I wasn't worried. I mean, really...I'm in fairly decent shape, yes? And besides, how hard could it be? Well...it was actually quite steep and quite hard. And I have to admit that I was breathing pretty heavily. Trying to carry on a conversation was a tad difficult. But hey, it was beautiful up there. And truthfully, it really wasn't anything I couldn't handle...it just ended up being a very good workout.

At the top, Hade and Frederic pulled out a picnic. An assortment of drinks, sandwiches, chips, sushi and, of course, Bruges Belgium waffles. And while we ate, we watched the sun set over the valley and the Great Salt Lake. Wow. And again....WOW. Seriously one of the most beautiful views I can remember. And when the our picnic was complete, and we had watched the lights wink on down in the valley, we hiked down in the dark under the stars. We were hoping that the full moon would show its face but it was a little late on arrival. So to aid in lighting the trail, all the men pulled out flashlights. (Why is it that most men tend to carry little flashlights with them?) Bryan and I had such a great time....we talked about it all the way home. Something along the lines of...dang, that was really fun, maybe we should do that again sometime soon! And...next time I'm going to bring a better camera! (See woefully inadequate iPhone pics below...)

All in all, what a unique and fun Friday.


Jewels said...

That view is amazing!

Mary said...

What a beautiful view! And I love it that you have friends that you can do that with. I'm still working on that. That's a big jump out of my comfort zone. Maybe if we stick around here for awhile I can make some really great friends!