Thursday – our first 3 show day. This means that today we went to three different schools, loaded in the set three times, performed the show three times to three very different audiences, and then broke down the set and loaded it back into the car three times. Whew!
This was our schedule:
7:30: arrive at first school
8:30 perform first show
9:00 Break down and get out of first school as soon as we can because we need to get to the next school (25 minute drive) and set up for our second show
10:30 perform second show
11:00 break down and leave second school and drive the 50 minute drive to our third school and set up as quickly as possible
12:50 Perform third show
1:30 Break down, go to beach/go home.
Everyday until now, the most we’ve had is two shows a day. It’s daunting to know that three show days are really the norm for this tour. On Kauai we are even going to have four show days! But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’ve been getting the feeling I should take this tour one day at a time. If I think about how I’m going to be doing this for the next two months…. It’s too much to think about.
Anyway, we started this long day at St Ann’s Model School performing for 124 kids ranging in grade levels 1-4. What was nice about this school was that it was in Kaheohe, which is where our vacation rental is, meaning it was a 10 minute drive instead of a 40 minute drive, meaning we got to sleep in an extra half hour! This might not sound like much, but it definitely started this long day off on a sweet sleepful note.
Our next show was at a preschool called The Children’s Center for 50 kids.
It was in a gymnasium, which was an unusual space for us. When I first saw the audience at this school, I thought they were the shyest audience we’d had. They were all looking at me with a “dear in the headlights” sort of stare. Luckily, no sooner had Daryl come out as his Goofy grandpa character, and the audience started laughing at was put at ease. They ended up coming after the show and giving me hugs! Also, after the show, they gave us “peace pin wheels” the children had been making for International Peace day the following Monday. This was also the first school to give us lei’s! They were adorably hand made, hodge-podge things that had different kinds of beads, and colors, and fake flowers, and they jingled like bells as we walked.
MOMENT of the DAY: We were in a huge rush to get from our first show in Kaneohe to our second show in Honolulu (a 25 minute drive). As we are driving along, congratulating ourselves for being 5 minutes ahead of schedule, the driver in the car next to us starts making strange, serious warning gestures at us and at our trunk. Sure enough, we look at our trunk and find that we had been driving down the highway with the damn thing completely open! We have about $7,000 in puppets, and another $5,000 in audio equipment that travels around with us and lives in the back of our trunk! We pulled over as soon as we could, I jumped out, slammed that trunk closed, and we drove along our merry way, thanking our lucky stars that a fellow driver had been nice enough to tell us, and that we had not lost anything.
Our last and final show of the day had been at Ka’a’awa Elementary school for 150 kids grades k-6, basically the entire school. This was probably my most favorite show we’ve done so far. The school is awesomely out in Hawaii no-man’s land with green fields and mountains directly at it’s back, and the Pacific ocean right across the street.
It was made up of white portable buildings, and it was in one of the largest of these portable buildings that we set up the stage and performed to the 150+ audience that had somehow had jammed itself to fit into this not very big space. It was hot. It was crowded. It was one of the best energy shows we’ve had. The kids were so excited to see us, their energy and excitement was infectious. Despite being tired, despite having already done this same show twice this morning, I could not help but want to perform the best show I could possibly put on for them. And they loved it. A number of kids even asked for our autographs as we left the school, which is where our best kid quotes of the day came from too:
Kid Quote: It’s an underwear two parter: “NICE UNDERWEAR!!!!” – said repeatedly by a 3rd grade boy while he hugged me good bye (it’s one of my puppet’s lines in the play, and consequently his FAVORITE part)
“Why did grandpa keep pulling up his underwear?” asked by a second grade girl who had never heard of suspenders (grandpa likes to hold onto his suspenders while he talks sometimes)
As an added plus, the drive to this last school of the day was absolutely beautiful. Before this drive, I thought Maui was hands down more beautiful than Oahu (and Maui is still my favorite island) But I have to admit, even Maui doesn’t have roads that can top this. CHECK THESE PHOTOS OUT!
After our last show, we immediately hit the beach. A great beach called Kahana Beach Park conveniently happened to be a mile down the road from the school. It was a beautiful beach, but kind of odd because the water was yellowish (um yikes?) and it was surrounded by trees. I’d never been to a beach like it in Hawaii. Nevertheless, it was peaceful, and a great place to unwind before heading home after a long full day of shows.
Pictures Kahana Beach Park