Sunday, December 3, 2017

Team of One


Just came back from Coco, a movie that surpassed my expectations and was truly delightful in all sorts of ways. A former student of mine works for Pixar, so I stayed through the credits looking for his name. Some 200 people later listed on screen, I still hadn’t found it. That’s a LOT OF PEOPLE working on a creative project together. I couldn’t help contrast it to my upcoming work putting on the 4th grade Holiday Play. Here are the list of the credits:

Producer: Me
Director: Me
Scriptwriter: Me
Drama coach: Me
Casting: Me
Dance Choreographer: Me
Blocking: Me
Music director: Me
Music composer/arranger: Me
Music teaching: Me
Instrument mover: Me
Set design: Me
Set construction: Me
Set artwork: Art teacher
Prop organizer: Me
Liaison with parents: Me
Schedule organizer: Me
Lighting: Me
Sound: Me
Video production: Me and school parent
Photography: Me and School parent
Advertising/ Invitations/ Announcement: Me
Program notes: Me
Costumes: My colleagues
Make-up: Colleagues and parents
Snacks: Me
Counselor and therapist: Me
Consultant on other play: Me

Well, you get the idea.  A bit of exaggeration (my colleague James mostly deals with schedule, the kids contribute to dance choreography, an alum parent Maica co-directs as schedule permits, my colleague Sofia directs the chorus and she and Maica deal with most of the costumes), so it’s not all about me. But as a team of four, we do just about everything from finding the glockenspiel mallet to bagging the costumes to calling the parents of the child having problems to …well, as you can see from the above, it’s a long list. In the adult world, all the jobs are specialized and you can concentrate on your field of expertise. In the school holiday play, especially done the way we do them, we have to attend to creating, directing, producing, organizing and all the details at once. For little pay and no big bonus.

But hey, that’s what makes it so interesting! I sometimes long for my Coco team of 200—or at least the old Ovations Committee of 6 volunteer parents—but one definition of good work is that which uses all of you and challenges you to use yet more that you didn’t know you had.

And this is good work. Come see the results on Thursday night, Dec. 14th (my advertising job!) and be yet more impressed knowing how much we each had to do to pull it off.

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