Yep. Last night, I experienced it. Or rather, my students did.
I hate doing that. I really do. And I feel it coming, too. It’s like a slow, nauseating build-up, as the TNT gradually inches its way closer to the plutonium cell. Then, kachinky. Fission. Bodies everywhere. I go completely blind with rage and forget to be the lady my mama raised me to be. I turn into something ugly and horrible. A hag with horns and fangs.
And the thing is — and I have to hand it to my cast, no lie — they stood there patiently, waiting for the cloud to dissipate. (With abject hatred in their hearts, I’m sure, but they stood there like soldiers nonetheless.)
So why do they put up with the likes of me? I have no idea. But I’m glad they do, because they are truly good at this musical theater thing. I know, all directors yell. I’ve been at this game long enough to know that. But somehow, I like to pride myself on retaining some modicum of self-control, so as not to come off looking like a complete lunatic.
[At this point, Mathew and Kody are laughing. Godspell 2004, anyone?]
Anyway, the self-control thing didn’t happen last night. And the meltdown occurred, oh, three minutes into the first number. Some of them, I’m sure, are still seething about it. I’m developing a nasty cold sore for my efforts. Serves me right. And I don’t even have the slightest recollection of what all I said to them. It’s a blur…but at least it’s Friday.
Fink out (to the pharmacy for some Abreva).
*our date; Friendly’s*
“So, Jax, ‘member dat time [annie] you bit my head off, chewed it to bits, puked it back up, chewed it again, purged it back up again then made a pancake out of it and made me eat it?”
*confused face on the Fink*
“Nooooo. Oh Mah Goodness! I did that!? What did I say to you!? I don’t remember that at all!”
“Jax…I have never cried so much in my life…”
“Harharhar. I really don’t remember. OMG. I’m so sorry. But whatever I said it worked! Cuz, ya know, after that you packed up that show in your little suitcase and went on vacation with it…blah blah”
Soooooo I’m thinkin ONE HUGE blowup a show is necessary for it to be great. This being my millionth show with you, dear, I think the nuclear bomb is needed for the cast to actually get serious. I was prepared for it. Now it’s all over.
Two thumbs up.
Girlie, may I lovingly remind you that the other side of that nuclear energy is the passion you bring to your work. That passion is contagious and if the students weren’t also passionate, you’d be puttin’ on that show by yourself. Unfortunately some mules just need a carrot, but others need a 2 x 4. The ones who deserved it knew that, and the ones who didn’t also knew that. Do not beat yourself with this.
PK the Mom
Oh thank goodness I thought you were going to say you threw up all over everyone. *wink* Glad it was Just A Director’s Moment. *hugs*
I am never proud when these moments happen, either. However, sometimes it works. People like you and myself, when the yelling happens people listen. We don’t yell much, at all, and when we do we feel guilty. I can count on my hands the number of times I have been so upset this year that I’ve yelled. I feel like gunk every time I do. I’m not “advanced in age” enough to forget what I’ve said, either, and some of it makes me feel rotten. We shall be forgiven…
I like to think that you yelling at your musical theatre students helps build character. I’m a much better person for having been yelled at on a yearly basis. I think, well to the best of my knowledge anyway, that I’m the only one to ever recieve the full brunt of a Rat-Fink-Meltdown, twice. B&G practice, and Godspell. I will never admit to be scared. I wouldn’t want to give you the satisfaction of knowing you intimidated me, haha. And to answer your “Why do they put up with it” question… it’s because the results are there. If it takes you ripping our heads off and tossing them into a nice neat pile for us to have a good show, then so be it. And like Meg said… it’s expected to happen at least once a show. Godspell, I think it happened twice. Maybe more.
You brought me a cookie today. I forgive you.
Thank you to all of my fiends for posting your replies today. They all made me feel much better! Now I’m burying myself in studying all weekend. That alone makes me want to have a nuclear meltdown…
I heard about this from someone in the cast and I’ll admit…I laughed a little. In my honest opinion these things are necessary. One should expect that Mrs. Stoneham will walk out at least once during the musical and that you will go nuclear once during Dinner Theatre. That’s just the way things are. I just wish I could have been there.
P.S. I’m showing up on Wednesday…maybe a repeat performance?
Hey, Mathew — I’m hoping to NOT have a repeat performance, dude. But it’ll be great to see you. Maybe Kody can stop by as well, and we can have a laff….