Thursday, April 5, 2012

Confetti Kids, and my LOVE of theater


I have one of THE best things going in my town. MINUTES from my house (about 8) is a Fire House… well the firemen moved out, and they gave residence to a wonderful group of people making a difference.
Three Rivers Art Council, or as we all call it TRAC. It’s a place to create… ANYTHING artistic. There are painters, and builders, 
singers, and musicians, drawers, sketchers, doodlers, real life 
DSCN4136and abstract, from the wonderful ages of kids, teens, us middle aged people, and the seniors… well they are some of my favorite artists!

While cartooning one night at the ‘Open Art Night’ with my friends, and always making new ones, I had the chance to chat with Amy. She’s boss around this fire house… I guess that makes her Chief, right?

DSCN4125She knows I bleed love for crafts, and this week they are having “The Confetti Kids, Children's Theater Camp” they need to do costumes, and SINCE I just so happen to know what to do with pipe cleaners, fuzzy vests, paper wings, glitter, glue, feathers, and construction paper. I was asked to come by and help.
To be honest with you I’m not one for volunteering to work with kids… And while we are being honest, I often say “I’m not a fan of other peoples kids” and I’m all right with saying it out loud. Unless your one of my CLOSEST friends, I shudder at the idea of play dates…I’ve been getting better at them. But now after a day like this… I can’t imagine why NOT kids.

I mean I walked into the garage bays, to the kids practicing their show for this Friday night.
I was taken back to a place, to the stage, to the choreographed moves, ‘Stage RIGHT!’, seeing these kids, I started to place them with my friends from High School. Oh she reminds me of this person, and he reminds me of that guy…

From the old memories, to realizing that theater is alive in kids today. But now it’s OUR job to make sure of that. I had amazing teachers help me learn the love of theater, and even if my job was just creating costumes with the kids. It was the best 3 hours for me.

I would stand in the center of these tables, I had my ‘Angry Bird’ group designing their head wreaths of feathers, how to wrap the feather boas around their arms.

I had my ‘Clap-o-Meter’ makers busy at work, and the one girl, who is King Lear (and a knight) we worked on her costume of shiny gold fabric, hand made crowns, and paper towel rolls to a sword

This is Paige… she’s one of the Angry Birds in the show, and, well I have the pleasure of hanging out with Paige every morning at our driveway waiting for the bus.

Even though I see her everyday, it’s usually rushed getting everyone out for the bus. But seeing her here, in her PERFECT element, we had a blast together.


THIS little rock star, Elizabeth, has a skill she said she learned from a friend… all I know is I asked for a paper crown and she made this pointy triangle out of paper… I said that doesn’t look much like a crown… it’s like King Lear had a beak coming out of her head…we all said “ANGRY BIRD BEAKS!”
So I quickly learned the origami art of making these beak like masks, pipe cleaners through them, and around their ears! Some like the one below, rocked a pipe cleaner mustache.
We laughed, sang, and at times took a dance break (Ah hello! Tweens LOVE top 40 pop music?! Show tunes?! OMG we had a blast)
Before I knew it the two hours for costume design was over, I was calling myself “Costume Designer” the kids had to go off to lunch, I stayed behind and wrote out lists of who’s costume was who’s. What pieces they needed.

A few of the older girls are (self titled) “Costume Dictators" so they will be there Friday night to get the girls dressed and ready.

I chatted with Chief Amy some more, and she showed me this HUGE curtain, for behind the stage… she said something about it needed to be sewed across the top… and when she got a chance between now and Friday… she’d take it home… even though she’s already there 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. 

It’s a not for profit place so I’m pretty sure there is little or no pay. I sew, and I’ve got time. So I said I’d take the stage curtains home and work on them. (thanks to my mom for helping me out! She’s my sewing hero!)

I wish so bad I could be there Friday night to see the Confetti Kids and their play. To see the Angry Birds v.s. the Pop Star Fairy Princesses fight it out. I’ve got my father-in-laws birthday party that night.

Either way I’d like to thank the TRAC house for letting me volunteer… sure I did you a favor… but in return you did me a much bigger favor, reminding me why I love art, kids in theater, and what this Three Rivers Art Council means to me.

Love and creativity,
Jcat McGack

This would be me… the dancing banana…in the Joliet West production of “Once On This Island” circa 1994. My photographer cut off my head. This kid was my ‘Kid’ when I was my other character, one of the island peasants.
And for the sake of keeping my head in this showcase of 1990’s pictures I also found this one…

Again, not the BEST shot, blurry, but that may be a good thing. I was rocking some killer glasses back then. LOVED the costumes of this play. Had  BLAST on this one…
Which reminds me… Frances and I should go see a musical at Joliet West… they are the best you know.

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