As a parent have you ever had to sign a consent form for your child so he or she could go on a field trip or participate in something? Well, that's how it all started with a children's production that my husband and I were directing at a downtown Church!
You'd think so.
This particular production was an amazing opportunity for children who love to sing and act and... Fly. That's right. I said, “fly.”
We rehearsed our productions for three months in advance because they were usually pretty involved and we had a variety of ages... toddlers, right on up too early teens. And my assistants (and we needed plenty) were wonderful-- some of them were parents, some not-- but, my oh my, the talent we had in those assistants.
One particular fellow was a “jack-of-all-trades" and I do mean he could do anything. So we brought up the subject of flying a couple of kids...
“No problem,” he said.
“Great,” I said.
We had never done this and so it was a new adventure for all of us. We had our production meetings, discussed the possibilities, and drew up all the plans for the rigging. All the guys wanted to be in on this process ‘cause, let's face it, how often does an opportunity like this come around? They were like kids in a candy shop, each throwing out ideas of how this could or should work! But in the end, it all rested on the shoulders of the man we knew who could really handle it!
Weeks went by, rehearsals continued, music was memorized, costumes were made and fitted, scenery was painted, and hardware was gathered for the assembly of the rigging for this “heavenly production. “
Getting back to the story... we decided that we would fly at least two kids in our production so instead of sending forms home for parents to sign with permission to fly their kids -- and we pretty much decided that most parents would not give us consent for this -- we decided (an assistant and myself) that we would fly our sons so if we killed them, that would be okay... ‘Cause they belong to us.
Now don't get all stirred up. Would you have given your consent?
We had asked our sons and they both jumped at the chance. So, we were on for the “Big Show.”
Everything was ready.
Last rehearsal before show time...
The kids were excited and so were we. What a production this was going to be. The BIG announcement had been made in the morning church service (we were on TV) about the grand surprise for the production that night.
Excitement was in the air!
The rigging was completed and tested. Our angels were ready to fly.
Everyone had been instructed after the testing that there were certain steps that we had to follow in order for everything to work properly without a hitch.
Except-- one of the volunteer crew members decided that he wanted to try out this mechanism one more time before the evening performance. So, without permission and without proper setup, he decided to go ahead and run through the scene where the Angels would be flying through the air.
Remember-- I said, “without proper set up! “ So...
“Oh, my goodness! You are kidding me? “
The whole set... dragging on the floor. The others who helped construct all of the set came in to see this mass of a mess and the thought of murder crossed their minds.
But remember... they were in church and that sort of thing is frowned upon in church.
We were so close to performance time that we didn’t have enough time to reset anything. We had to make the announcement to the cast that there would be no flying.
Such long faces!
All that work down the drain. The adults were just as disappointed as the children!
But never sell the children short, for once the initial shock was over, they all went on in their precious angel costumes and behaved just like angels. They made us all proud. Disappointed, yes. But so excited to share their talents with their parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, and the entire congregation. And, as we watched those little smiling faces, you could never tell that anything was missing from this production.
Maybe the crack...
Clunk... was a sign that we shouldn't be flying our precious children. We didn't need to have that to have a successful production. The kids were absolutely wonderful.
Even though they didn’t get to fly that evening, they truly were angels!