We got there WAY too early. We were the only HELP kids in the church building where it was to be held, So Abby was busying herself putting on makeup and I was wandering around. All of a sudden, I asked Abby, "Beez, should I go up onstage while no-one's there and sing my heart out?"
After a bit of pushing, I got up and belted "Over the Rainbow" to a room full of empty benches and my big sister. Hey, that's fun. I proceeded and was singing "My Heart Will Go On" to my eager little sister. As I reached the end of the song, the Youngs walked in. Britney and Gabriella walked toward the stage, hearing my last notes. As I finished, Britney, enthralled, said, "Let me guess-you're going to be a professional singer, right?" "An actress, actually, in musical theatre," I said, quite pleased at this critique. Britney hurriedly walked to her mom. "MOM! Mom! Did you hear Rachel sing?! I mean, it's amazing!" Ah, this is a good start to the evening. I gave Mrs. Young a hand and plugged in the light-up wreaths and trees.
The evening got a lot livelier when the Roesner-mobile pulled in and Aaron and Adam hopped out, Adam boasting, "I have a burrito." Singing and talking, they walked in. I smiled. And now the crazy stuff comes.
Admittedly, they are easy to lose. Always on the move, those two. Usually jumping, running, or fighting in slow motion. I saw Aaron walk into the sanctuary, and I went through a different door. "Aaron? Adam? I know you're here." I walked past the benches warily, but not warily enough. "HEY!" Adam shouted, appearing suddenly from behind a wall. Naturally, it scared the living daylights out of me. "YOU GUYS!" I shrieked, punching their arms playfully while they laughed, gleeful at their success. "Hey Rachel!" my friend Olivia said, walking in. Naturally, she was hyper. Way too hyper. But with Liv, it's cool. She pulled out her phone and we jammed to ringtones.
Soon, more people started arriving. They were excited to see me, and even more excited that I wasn't contagious. I found Bekah, who was standing in for me as Grace, and told her she would do amazingly. She still seemed jittery and shy. She wasn't assured I wouldn't be mad. I was totally cool with everything, though.
Since I didn't have to rehearse, I got to help with other jobs. Mrs. Roesner and I were soon enlisted and found ourselves cutting and making the signs for the reserved benches so no-one would sit there except the cast. I looked at all the Tom Sawyer kids having fun, and I sighed, "I wish I could be up there." Mrs. Roesner looked up and cheerfully said, "Here, more signs!"
I looked at her kinda funny. "Way to make me feel better, Mrs. R."
She found it quite funny. Okay...
Soon, the cast was sitting down and talking excitedly and not getting in anyone's way. We were laughing hard and having a good time. Soon, however, I wandered outside to see the people who were milling about, waiting for the show to start. I quickly found Jake and Cora, whom I hadn't seen for quite a while. I hugged them and we jabbered about things. Soon, though, the show had to start. As I sat there, talking, I didn't notice the tall figure that came up behind me. "HELLO,'' a deep, gravelly voice in my ear. Being how I am, I screamed. Adam, Cory, Aaron, Valerie, and Caleb started to laugh, while I tried to calm my heart and laughed shakily along with them. "JAKE!"
First up were the dance classes, the music classes, and the younger kid's drama class. Adam and I sat next to each other and discussed the different performers. At one point, we had to guess an animal sound, as a following poem would be performed about that animal. Mrs. M, our drama teacher, played the tape and Adam perked up at the chirping noise. "Right! A cricket!" Mrs. M. said cheerfully, and Adam immediately started making a chirping sound that was unmistakably a cricket. Those who could hear started to laugh.
Soon, it was time for the Annie cast to get up and perform. Naturally, it was amazing. I wished I could be in it, but hey, I could be in it next year. For now, enjoy the wonderful job.
We went to the refreshment room, but didn't end up getting any food. Adam, Aaron, Emily, and I drifted off to a quieter place where we could hear ourselves think. There, we discussed Harry Potter and other wonders. We decided I was Neville Longbottom, in the scheme of things. And yes, I picked that.
All too soon, Adam and Aaron had to leave. They went off, and I went to hang with my girlfriends. Soon, Katie, Bekah, Allye, Cora, Cassidy, Natalie, and I were outside. Somehow, Isaac, Justin, and Cory were in the mix as well. We took pictures, laughed, and randomly acted weird. Epic win.
When we left, oddly enough, I wasn't sad. I was bubbling over with memories of the evening.
Now I just have to wait until January 12th for HELP to start up again.
Stage, here I come.
Cass and I outside in the freezing cold :D