"Come on, Ryan. You're not reading a grocery list, you are SINGING. It is EMOTIONAL. It is IMPORTANT. It is COHERENT. Let's try it again, from the top."
I leaned back in the squeaky auditorium chair and sighed. Next to me, Eric was falling asleep and Vanessa (Nessarose) was mouthing the words to the song that Ryan (the Wizard) was singing with a pained expression on her face akin to the one that the Drivers Ed teacher wears when you go to fast or screech around a corner. Everyone else was doing homework, talking, or just generally goofing off while Mr. Phillips took turns yelling at Ryan and telling him to "emote" and talking about how "it's a story about poetic justice and yelling "Quiet!" or "Pay attention!" at us. Practice was two hours, one of which had been taken up by "A Sentimental Man".
I elbowed Eric in the ribs. If i had to stay awake, so did he. Because, i swear, i'm in almost every song. It doesnt matter that i only have two lines in "Popular" ("you really don't have to do that" "I have to go") and Wonderful ("so you lied to them" "it does sound wonderful") I have to sit up there on that stage for as long as it takes Clara (Glinda) to hit that high note. We havent even started on choreography yet, either. Grr.
"Alright, that's enough for today, Ryan. Work on that for next time. Glinda, Elphaba, get up here and get ready for "As Long As You're Mine". I avoided looking at Eric and walked up on the stage. I don't care if we were talking again, it was still awkward telling him to "Kiss me too fiercly/ hold me too tight", even if technically i wasnt telling HIM or as ME, but as characters. That's how Jess told me to think of it anyways. She's kind of pissed that i got the lead and she didnt, even though she didnt try out. She decided when she was about three that she was going to be on Broadway, but considered school plays below her. Especially now that Mr. Phillips was directing. Still, that didnt explain the way she kept going, "Well, if you had told ME about it, I would be Elphaba and you wouldnt have to worry about it." Seriously. This girl is supposed to be my best friend. Or so she says, anyways.
The piano started playing, and i took a deep breath.
I let out the breath in a big whoosh. Next to me, Eric was looking annoyed. "We didnt even start yet. How could we be doing anything wrong?" he said. But not loud enough that Mr. Phillips could hear him.
"Elphaba," (he has this annoying habit of calling us by our character names instead of our real ones) "you aren't breathing right. You have to breathe from the diaphram. Like so." I clenched my hands into fists and tried not to lunge off the stage at his throat. Not BREATHING right??
I took another deep breath. "Ki--"
The seceratary's voice blared out of the speakers. "Attention all teachers: someone has parked their blue Jeep in the red zone. Again, someone has parked their blue Jeep in the red zone." Mr. Phillips suddenly seemed very intent on studying his official-looking clipboard.
"Ah, from the top. Lilly? Play the opening."
I did the screchy things at the beginning that Mr. Phillips calls "falsetto" (he was pretty much horrified that i didnt know what it was. at least i didnt tell him that i thought it was a pastry, or i'm pretty sure he would have kicked me out. although that's seeming like a viable option right now), then started the song. Halfway into the song, just as Eric was singing, "But you've got me seeing through different eyes", the loudspeaker beeped again. "Attention ALL TEACHERS AND STUDENTS: we have called tow trucks, and they are coming for that car unless you move it immediatley." Mr. Phillips snapped his head up and said, "You know what, that was really, um, perfect, you two. I'll be right back." He threw the clipboard on the piano and all but ran out.
So in the end, we ended up starting a total revolt. Seriously, if anyone had ever told me that unsupervised theatre was so much fun, i would have killed off all adults long ago. Plus, the guy who played Boq was one of those people who know absoloutly everything about stage crew and sound systems, and he hooked up Eric's iPod to play all those stupid show tunes that he liked, plus the crazy frog songs, which he swears arent his. I'm so sure.
And then when we all left, we were rewarded with the very amusing sight of mr. phillips screaming at the tow truck guys as they tried to drive away with his car.
How's that for poetic justice?