Monday, November 23, 2009

Bye Bye Birdie, another possible path?

I was recently part of a great production of "Bye, Bye Birdie." This was an interesting experience for me, because it didn't involve even once that I perform on stage. My very close friend, Melanie, is the teacher at Box Elder High School and about a month ago asked if I could do some photography and design her posters for their musical. So I went in and took pics of the girls and came up with what turned out to be an incredibly adorable poster. Which I can say...actually even shocked me at how well it turned out. I love when I shock myself with what I am able to do.

As the show went on, I was spending more and more time at the school helping Melanie out. I designed their t-shirts, I designed some buttons the girls would wear saying, "The future Mrs. Conrad Birdie." We also decided on the set to look a certain way. Then we decided to use some of my photography on it. I also designed some phenomenal hanging posters in the auditorium that were 12'x4' and looked phenomenal! I helped with the costumes, I helped McKenzie with her hair and make up and loved every moment of it!

One of my favorite things about this experience was watching this kids put on their play. I've always loved putting on a show and there's nothing like an opening night, but to watch these kids put on THEIR show, was...touching. I understand why Melanie does what she does and I understand why she loved us and loves all her kids so much. There were kids in that show that didn't have any other outlet in their life. And being on that stage meant the world to them. They glowed and smiled and loved every second of being in that show. Melanie doesn't turn down one student when they audition for a show. Everyone gets a chance. You don't see any coaches doing that. And you don't actually see a lot of teachers do that either.
When those kids had their big first opening number on opening night, I got a little emotional. I was SO proud of them! I had watched them work so hard and give SO much. The seniors were doing their final musical and they were performing in the middle school, because their auditorium was being renovated. They had rehearsed in the blazing heat and the freezing cold. They hadn't complained once! If that had been MY senior year, we all would have been whining like crazy. We were whining because we had to do Joseph.
Anyway, so here are some of my photography from the show. I hope you enjoy the pictures as I had fun working with these kids and thinking that possibly...I should go to school to become a drama teacher.
Jordan was the adorable Conrad Birdie. Had to work with this kid to get him to understand he was a star that girls were in love with, but by opening night his "honestly sincere" was so phenomenal I couldn't help but cheer louder than anyone!

These are the banners I designed to hang in the auditorium! They were adorable, set the best mood as audience members walked in. They loved them and kept asking where Mel got them.

Kinda gives you an idea of how huge they were! Completely larger than life. And they looked so awesome!

We used my photography on the set! I came up with the idea for the grid with the "mod" squares. And like any Melanie production the set was Platforms and blocks. There were also adorable panels that would roll on and be used for background or telephone booths.

And here are some of my favorite photos we took to put on the set, plus a few more. This show was amazing and fun. I wish I could use words to express how wonderful it was to be apart of it! I am now designing for Midsummer's Night. And I it's going to be wonderful! I can't wait.

It was just amazing to get to work with Mel on a different level. I've always been one of her students, one of her cast members, her costume designer, etc. But to help her put so much into this show was so fantastic. I really learned to love it so much and I learned to love the kids in this show. There were kids in this show that this was the greatest thing they had ever done in their lives!


Chelsey said...

Oh Mandee! I wish I had a little bit of the talent that you hold in one of your little pinkies! You're amazing!!! I LOVE the photography and those posters ARE amazing! I'm so glad you had such a great time doing this. It seems to be your niche! Let us know when the next show you do is. We'd love to come see your work!

Braden said...

You are spot on. It was astounding to see these kids pull off such great performances. You were amazing! You added that professional touch that made the show complete.

ann said...

This is great, Mandee. I love the photos and the set! I love it.