WuToWu #77: The Gala-Adventures from Backstage

Hi Curtis!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a true “this is what has happened this past week” but it’s been a busy weekend so I thought I would recount this past Saturday. You ready? Let’s go!

8:00 AM: I wake up and get ready for the day ahead. I have an college interview downtown and then the gala at Paly. Lots to do! I packed some homework the night before but stick in two muffins and a water bottle.

9:00 AM: I leave the house and bike downtown in my “business casual” outfit. It’s 66 degrees so my sleeveless dress plan was nixed.

9:30 AM: The interview starts.

10:00 AM: The interview ends. I walked back to the whole foods with my coffee. I’m not called to the theater until 11 so I sit outside and annotating the WASC report and feel very grown-up. I secretly hope someone assumes I belong to a start up.

10:30 AM: I bike to the theater and realize that the wool coat I chose is not boding well in the now 70 degrees California weather.

10:45 AM: I run across to town and country to pick up some snacks from Trader Joe’s. Stroopwafels and a bottle of sparkling water are paid for. Once I get back to the green room, Mom called and berated me for my food choices.

11:00 AM: My theater class has the green room for an hour before the others arrive so I hurriedly change into my costume and makeup. Someone puts bright red eye shadow on me and with my red lipstick, I look like someone who’s had a rough night. Kim says I look very Fosse so I guess I’m doing something right.

12:00 AM: I eat stroopwafels and drink my fizzy water while listening to “The Color Purple” for the umpteenth time.

1:00 PM: A classmate asks me to play piano for the vocal warm up. I realize that I am not Todd and fumble through a few scales. We review the harmonies as the choir kids look at us in a mix of intrigue and disgust.

2:00 PM: I attempt to do some math homework. I successfully do 1 problem before being told the house has opened and lost all ability to think about derivatives.

3:00 PM: The theatre class takes the stage for our Song/Dance number of “Magic To Do” from Pippin. Yours Truly does not do anything to embarrass herself. As soon as the lights drop and I am safely hidden by the curtain, I run back to the green room to change into my choir dress. (That’s right, your sister is now in all the performing arts). I also try to wipe all the red off my eyes. Can’t go on looking like I’ve been crying for hours.

3:30 PM: My choir group goes on. I pretend to by part of Beyonce’s team (per the request of a certain choir teacher). My biggest worry was dropping my fan since the teacher said to leave it there if you do drop it. Luckily, the fan stays solidly in my hand the entire time. We also gave the accompanist a fan. As my teacher motions towards him, he raises it in a flourish. The audience laughs.

4:00 PM: I changed out of my dress into slippers and a sweater. Comfy clothes over character shoes all day every day. The show is still going. (Running time thus far being 1:30.) In fact, we are only at intermission. (This is foreshadowing.)

5:30 PM: I’m back on for the finale. We sing a mix of Broadway songs including the Producers, Wicked, and the Lion King. Rob Minkoff (the producer of the animated “The Lion King”) told a cute story and sang with us. #OnlyPaloAltoThings

6:00 PM: I scarf down a plate of pasta (and a few more stroopwafels) before changing back into my “Magic to Do” costume. I apply another layer of lipstick to my already-dry-as-the-Sahara-Desert lips. I also have someone reapply red eye shadow. Oh the joys of 2 show days.

7:30 PM: The second show starts. Someone tells me that the show is sold out. Oh, the nerves.

8:00 PM: Choir goes on again. Mom is sitting on the side and waves at me. I smile. (Later she said I gave her  a smirk.) Again, the fan stays solidly in my hand.

9:00 PM: Sitting backstage again attempting to do some work. I also say “I’m so angry, I need to eat something.” No context.

10:30 PM: The finale starts again. This is the first time I get to see the new theater filled to the brim. Let me just say. It’s incredible. As the finale draws to an end the beat of the Lion King starts. We start singing and just as we get to the end we all pause after saying “The circle of…” and there is this absolutely wonderful ringing sound. His hands come down as we sing “LIFE”. Our hands connected, rise together and just as they  finish going up, the lights go to blackout. The lights come back on to reveal the audience, all standing.

11:30 PM: Mom and I finally leave the theater armed with bags of clothes, shoes, and slices of cake.

12:00 AM: Mom tells me not to stay up too late. I battle the layers of makeup on my face before hopping in the shower and hope that the steam will get all the stuff out of my pores.

1:00 AM: I go to bed. (Sorry, Mom.)

Hope you’re doing well! I’m sure they’ll release a video of what happened soon and I’m sure Mom will send it your way.




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