But enough about that. Because we had a meet and greet yesterday, I'm in the mood to share some really sweet stories about the interactions we've had with the kids either during the show or afterwards. To be honest, I didn't expect to enjoy performing for children as much as I am. But if you think about it, at least you always know where you stand with kids. I can't even begin to count all the times I've finished a show and been like, "I have no idea what the audience thought about that." With kids, you always know if they're engaged or not. And if they're not, okay, that's too bad, but at least you know and can work to win their attention back. And when you do have them captivated, it's so rewarding. It fuels you throughout the scene in a very exciting way.
So here are ten moments (in no particular order) that I've had so far. These are the moments I find myself thinking about whenever I have to get up before 6:00am or we have to drive in the car for 7 hours. And then it doesn't seem so bad after all.
1) During the show, when I ask the audience, "I promised to save his life and I'm determined to keep that promise. But how?", one little girl in the front row promptly responded, "Use the web!". The same little girl also exclaimed "That's sad!" when I told Wilbur I was dying.
2) It melts my heart every single time when I make my first entrance and children gasp or exclaim, "It's the spider!" or "Charlotte!". Every. Single. Time. (They often don't say spider quite correctly; usually it sounds like, "it's the spwider." Which makes it even more difficult not to stop the scene and go 'Awww!')
3) A girl came up and hugged me during a meet and greet. I then asked if she wanted an autograph. She said no, she already had one. She just wanted to come back for a hug.
4) I also love when the kids figure out (sometimes loudly during the show, sometimes when talking to me afterwards), that I was the baby spiders. I particularly love that most of them curiously ask if my hands were the baby spiders and when I say yes, they proudly go, "I KNEW it!"
5) When I told Wilbur I had laid 514 eggs, one girl shouted--actually shouted at the top of her voice--"OH MY GOODNESS!"
6) One boy obviously had been to the theatre previously; he shouted "Bravo!" repeatedly during curtain call.
7) Transcript from a meet and greet where I was not in costume (so some people didn't recognize me right away):
Me: What was your favorite part?
Cute little girl: The spider.
Me: Yeah, the spider is my favorite part too. Good choice!
Mom: (laughing--to her daughter) Do you know why that's her favorite part?
Cute little girl: ...because the spider was sparkly?
Mom: (still laughing) No, because she WAS the spider.
Cute little girl: OH! (immediately ducks behind her mom and is too shy to speak to me any longer)
8) A boy came up to me and informed me I played 4 characters in the show. I told him, no, I was actually 3 people: Mrs. Arable, Charlotte, and the baby spiders. He then pointed out, "But there are TWO baby spiders. So that means you're FOUR people." I now tell anyone who asks that I play four characters in the show.
9) There was a performance where the audience kept applauding while I spun the words in the web. The only thing was they kept applauding earlier and earlier. So by the time I reached the last song, they applauded after the first lyric and all throughout the rest of it so I couldn't hear the music. So it was one of those odd flattering moments when I was touched that they liked it so much, but at the same time, I wanted to shush them.
10) Overall, there is nothing quite like making children laugh. Actors always enjoy getting a laugh from audiences, but when 2000 children laugh at something you've said, it's absolutely incredible. I wish I could describe it more articulately, but you just get a warm glow in belly hearing it that fills you from head to toe.
Hope that put a smile on your face on this Sunday afternoon. Until next time!