breaking a leg

old photos would always take us down memory lane. i, being a sentimental fool once in a while, would always experience this.

this morning, i found several pictures that made me miss doing  — dance choreography. i think this can also be the result of my wondering ( yes, that’s a letter ‘O’!) whether the college of arts and sciences number is worth presenting in the variety show “xtraordinarily loaded @40” on october 24 imagine, we only had one rehearsal so far! and with the overlapping activities a week after that, nobody seemed to care when the next  practice would be.
my orientation in preparing for major performances like this is different. having worked for 18 years  in a school where mediocrity had no place, i knew that half-baked performances are not worth presenting to a big audience.
i remembered when i had my first shot in directing and doing dance choreography as a professional teacher year 1991. my colleagues and superiors told me that each number that we would present should satisfy the school founder-director,  rev. fr. peter yang, svd (rip). it’s like he was the lone judge of the quality of presentation that we would show. If his chinky eyes would be turned into slits throughout the presentation, it would mean that he was very delighted. well,  i took the piece of information as a good catalyst. i love challenges and i treat it as a personal test on my capability.  humility aside, the performances that our level would present had succeeded in meeting not only the director’s standards but as well as  most of the viewers’.
first directed production number 1991
first directed production number 1991
"les miserables" and "miss saigon" on sjcs stage...
“les miserables” and “miss saigon” on sjcs stage…
turning sjcs into a fairyland
turning sjcs into a fairyland
the jouster's jesters...
the jouster’s jesters…
excerpts from the "chorus line" and "new york, new york"
excerpts from the “chorus line” and “new york, new york”
from kung fu...
from kung fu…
...to disco, one of my personal faves
…to disco, one of my personal faves
techie in "mr. roboto" and "everybody dance now"
techie in “mr. roboto” and “everybody dance now”
the batch that made it to rizal memorial stadium court as the opening number in tiong lian basketball association tournament (2006)
the batch that made it to rizal memorial stadium court as the opening number in tiong lian basketball association tournament (2006)
fusing the queens and shakiras music for a paso doble dance
fusing the queens and shakiras music for a paso doble dance
with the dancers in their well-researched costumes
with the dancers in their well-researched costumes
the alias- and the james bond-inspired number...my final bow
the alias- and the james bond-inspired number…my final bow
partly, i thank my early exposure on this when i was still in high school. given the opportunity to handle my classmates, i developed my sense of responsibility, discipline and “professionalism”  when it came  to this kind of job. i would demand the same thing from everyone who’s involved. i was a tigress every rehearsal time even to my classmates. i had to make sure that every detail, from music down to costumes, was paid attention to.
i carried this attitude when i was delegated the same nature of work in saint jude catholic school. after personally brainstorming for the presentation and welcoming others’ suggestions, i would immediately schedule an audition for interested participants. whoever failed to meet the set qualifications to be in the number, it had to be “goodbye”.
then, rigorous practices would be started.
when  sjcs was still very strict as regards practices, we would only make do of  the morning and afternoon recess which was around 15-20  minutes. the longest would be lunch break that would be less than an hour. no after class rehearsals was approved.  so you could just imagine the pressure if practices would not be started early. thank God, this was slightly modified when there was a change of administration. rehearsals could be done after dismissal and even on a thursday which was a non-class day in this school being saint jude day (in lieu of this, there are classes on saturdays).
time element played a key role in preparing for major events. and this is always my treatment to this factor. every millisecond for me counts a lot. being proactive, i do not want dilly-dallying.
that’s why in this kind of scenario in the tertiary level, i could only shake my head and worry for the woman in charge — our  physical education program coordinator. 
i tried putting myself in prof. manalo’s shoe… then, i asked myself: what if  i were the captain of the ship? would i  do what i were used to doing? the answer would be no. you see, these are different individuals who volunteered their service because they knew they would be willing to give all without so much of a prodding. my nigel lythgoe’s, mia michaels’  and even douglas nieras’ show of temper would not be welcomed by these people. besides, i would never dare. i  have slightly mastered the craft in maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships…
tomorrow is the second scheduled rehearsal for us  as we prepare for this event that will be excitedly watched by family members and friends on wednesday.

may the force be with us… or better wish us an early  “break a leg”  (a well-known idiom in theatre  which means “good luck”) which i hope won’t be literally done on us if we have a no-show on d-day.

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