Fest 2011: Opening Weekend

Fest opened this weekend, and it was great!

Saturday was the biggest opening day CF I’ve ever seen, and opening day is typically pretty hectic. This year, they changed our parking arrangements about 3 days before opening, and probably half of the people never heard about the change. I knew about it and should have figured that traffic would be backed up, but I didn’t leave any earlier than normal. When I arrived at the participants’ entrance, traffic was backed up nearly to the highway, and it’s a long way from the highway to the parking lot. Crikey! But it was fine; it all worked out.

Then, since our group had our stage yanked out from underneath us, we had made up our own schedule. I was part of the planning committee who came up with the schedule, and I knew it was overly ambitious, but when I raised this concern, other members of the committee didn’t share my concern. Fine. Sometimes you just have to let people try things their way, and come to their own realization that their way is not going to work.

So on Saturday, we were all running around like headless chickens trying to get to our self-appointed engagements on time, while also making time to drink water, eat food, and answer the call of nature. Supposedly we were supposed to have some time to rest in there, but I didn’t get a second to sit down backstage until probably 4 or 5 pm. A couple of our members succumbed to the heat and had to sit out a good part of the afternoon. Needless to say, the schedule was unsustainable.

But despite the hectic schedule, I had a great day. I was tired, but I managed to get enough to eat and drink and didn’t get exhausted or too hot or anything. I thought the weather was perfect, actually—low 80s and mostly sunny. Of course, I’m not a dancer and I don’t dress in the heavier noble garb, and I realize low 80s is pretty uncomfortable for most members of the troupe. But they suffer in the heat, and I suffer in the cold—it’s really hard to play the flute with frozen fingers—so I think it’s fair!

And aside from the fact that we overscheduled ourselves, our plan really worked out well. We did a couple of full shows and several teaching sessions, one of which was in the Children’s Realm. That was really fun—the little kids are so cute, especially the girls who are all so excited to dance with the ladies in their pretty dresses. ☺ We get much more audience interaction when teaching (obviously) and performing on level ground instead of on a stage.

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