As a lead instructor for 4th Wall you can’t help but worry the day of the show. Over the past however many weeks, our students are memorizing lines, practicing songs, and rehearsing dances, all in order to impress our guests on the big day. All you really want is a show that your students feel proud of…(and making mom or dad shed a tear is always a bonus!).
However this semester at MSU was a bit different. We were hoping to make the parents cry in a different way…through laughing!
Over 10 weeks, our 4th wall students, as a part of a collaboration with Michigan State Universities Department of Theatre, were practicing something that this group had never done before; a comedy show! Parents, friends, and family piled into our black box theatre as we signed “I Love to Laugh” from the famous Mary Poppins. Then we told some knock knock jokes with our MSU Volunteers, and after that each student had a chance to be in a comic strip like The Peanuts or Calvin and Hobbes. One of our talented students who has a keen talent for memorizing lines did a scene from The Odd Couple. And for the finale- a little bit of salsa dancing to a famous Meghan Trainor Song, “Better When I’m Dancing.”
Even though the showcase itself had good material, it wasn’t just the jokes, the choreography, or the lines that made the show funny. It was the FLARE!
Each of our eight students, no matter what the joke or part they practiced for the show, put their own flare into this showcase. It wasn’t something that could be taught, practiced, or rehearsed. It was just a special smile, dance move, extra line, gesture, forgotten line, costume, or certain way they portrayed themselves that made this showcase its own. It really made me wonder…do our students know how talented they really are?
Callie’s excitement boosted the shows energy, Danny’s smile melted everyone’s heart, Phillip’s side comments built anticipation, Joe…well everything Joe does is just as cute as a button, Mark spiced things up by showing up in a full blown suit, Christopher showed off some incredible acting skills, Jared nailed every one of his lines, and Ryan told everyone that we are all one team.
That’s right, one team! It’s each member adding a different talent, and their own special flare, that makes a showcase come together as a whole. It is at that moment at the end of just “another showcase” where an instructor takes a step back to breathe and realizes the students did it, and they made it so much better by just being the talented people that they are. So for all of our 4th wall students out there, you are each SO amazing…never stop being you!