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A strange week

I will try to recount this week vaguely and then go into more depth on interesting matters.
Monday: rehearsal, changing and running over to the newton banquet for newton education and chinese big cheeses, old american and chinese exchange students, and the original two women who started the exchange, then back to rehearsal
Tues: Visited the great hall with the newton edu people and listened to some boring speeches then went to the theater and was bored out of my mind in the dressing room.
Wed: rehearsal ALLL day in the theater and performance dress rehearsal thing in front of the parents.
Thurs: our first real performance followed by our second real performance
Fri (today): trip to a hutong(rode in a rickshaw three times with my principle) and prince gongs mansion followed by our third performance
now more in depth
Monday: i got my costume and was very disappointed with its ugliness. we then rushed to the newton banquet where there were a few stray american ex-exchange students and some chinese ones. Both newton north and south principles were there, the superintendent, several other important old people, and jingshan school's principle. we were promised american food which was what i was excited about, but it was disappointingly meat heavy and i accidentally ate a sandwich with fish eggs on it :(.
Tues: boring
Wed: woke up at six to get to the theater at 9. the traffic was really bad. rehearsal was brutal...sitting in a room with only flourescent lights surrounded by mirrors all day when its actually nice out sucked. you really loose track of the time of day when there is no natural light. I really screwed up on the dress rehearsal in front of the parents. When i was supposed to speak i spaced out completely/ was distracted by the crazy applause we were getting for our terrible chinese. There was a long applause and laughter fter the previous line, silence (a long one) and then, "OH" (of course my microphone was on for everyone to hear). I think it was ok because the parents didnt really care but however funny it was it was equally awkward. Got home at around 11
Thurs: woke up at 5:40 to get a head start so the traffic would be better. met up with michelle around the school and went to the theater at 9. upon arriving (about a 1.5- 2 hour journey from my house) we were told we needed out tap shoes. we had not needed them once nor had we rehearsed with them ever. The chances of slipping were high and i also had left them at my house. I had to go back to get them and got back to the theater at about 12:30. All i wanted to do was sleep. i again screwed up part of the dance, this time in front of the little children. i ran too the wrong position before everyone spoke their lines and had to back peddle. finding the spot isnt so easy as it is done whilst under a large blue silk cloth in about 15 seconds. and i am on the opposite end of the stage. It was awkward enough to have to move around while everyone else was still, but i also exclaimed "OH SHOOT" and of course my microphone was on the whole time. Again i was laughed at (at least im entertaining the crowd). It was frustrating because i didnt have to speak for a while, but my microphone was still on yet when michelle spoke her lines immediatly after my incident her microphone was not on. just my luck. The show at night though (the important one) went well for me. The actual show itself had a lot of problems, but the americans were perfect. (this was a big show because everyone's host siblings were there and really important officials... hujintaos family may have been among the crowd, and the newton peeps)
Todays show was filmed by CCTV for airing national television. We did fine although right when i started my lines after pausing for the crowd to applaud the previous line the crowd decided it was time to laugh and applaud. I had to yell over the audience and i don't think they heard me and didn't give me an applause :(. Also the sound was slightly messed up for part of it so the directors wanted us to reshoot our whole dance. This may happen during tomorrow's show.
I have to say this has been one of the most exhausting weeks ever. it may be because of the extended period of time i have to where contacts (since they wont let people where glasses during the show) combined with the make up seeping into my eyes (which also is CAKED on our faces all day) but my eyes burrnnn. I will now go to sleep. Tomorrow's show will be bitter sweet because it will be the last time we get to see some of these kids. The performance is annoying but it has really brought us together with a lot of awesome students and without that we are not sure how much we will see of them (they may not allow us to go back to school)
Also on sunday we leave for yunnan province for a week. then we will only have two more weeks in beijing :(.

Posted by Maia L 07:50

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