Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Starring Emma Toy in The Sound of Music

Emma auditioned for a role as one of the Von Trapp children in the Gig Harbor High School production of the Sound of Music back in January. 71 children auditioned for 5 roles. Her audition song was "True Colors" which she prepared in 2 days. I only found out about the auditions 2 days before they happened. When it was Emma's turn to audition she got up on stage, introduced herself and what she would be singing, and then blanked the melody of her song. Most kids would have started crying or gotten embarassed, but not her. She excused herself, ran down to Eddie and said she forgot the melody. Eddie sent her to me in the back of the auditorium, since I had Evalin with me. They let another kid go ahead with their audition while I helped Emma remember her tune. She then ran back on stage, apologized to the director that she forgot the melody and proceeded to give a great audition. She got called back the next day with about 15 other children. Then they had her audition with music from "The Sound of Music" and see what kind of chemistry she had with the older children being cast. We were supposed to hear back in 2 days on whither she got the role or not, but didn't hear back for a week. We thought she hadn't gotten it since we hadn't heard back, but then we got a surprise email stating that Emma was cast as Marta Von Trapp, the 7 year old daughter. Those short genetics came in handy (wink wink)! The director later told me that Emma's mess up in her audition is what made her stand out. It showed the director Emma could handle pressure and be able play the part well.

Rehearsals were straight from school until 7pm twice a week during February (one day of choreography and another for singing) and then every school day the first 2 weeks in March. Tech week (the week before opening) Emma was at the high school rehearsing from 30 minutes before school got out until 9pm at night. She was such a trouper and loved every minute of it.

I had the opportunity to help with costumes. I love to sew clothes and volunteered my skills to help make the girl Von Trapp children's costumes. The rental stores don't carry children size clothes, so all the children's costumes had to be bought or made. After countless hours, really I lost track of the hours, I finished 16 costume pieces for the children. I made 5 white party dresses, 5 ugly green curtain dresses, 3 peasant dresses, and 3 blouses. I made them all in 3 weeks. It was all worth it to see them up on stage, and watch Emma perform in the costumes. The children and director were very grateful for my help. They signed a SofM poster and presented it to me with a rose on stage closing night. I also, helped out with some emergency sewing repairs during performances. Opening night "Maria" tore the rented wedding dress costume almost in half during the quick change. Luckily it was only the seem that tore open. I fixed it the next day so it could be used again the next night. The show must go on!! I also helped out with dinners during Tech week, and tickets sales, concession sales and raffle ticket sales during the performances. I learned that our school district doesn't pay for any of the budget for the productions put on by the drama department. They have to earn all the money to keep the program going. It's a lot of work.

Emma was interviewed by the local newspaper "The Gateway" for her role in the musical.
View Article Here She got her name in the paper with some of her interview printed. She was excited. We ended up using zip ties to hold her braids in place so they wouldn't fall out during the performances. One of her favorite parts was getting mic'd every performance.

After everything, she performed 7 shows, 2 matinees for the elementary school children, and walked around local shops/stores to advertise the show. She loved every moment of it and says she wants to audition next year if they have any children's roles.Here are some pictures of the show. Enjoy!!


Matt Thomson said...

That performance captivated my 4 1/2 year old daughter. She's going to be Maria for Halloween (my mom's making her costume), she got the movie for Easter, and she has the sound track in the car at almost all times.
She's memorized nearly every song...she LOVES saying "Cukoo-cukoo" every night as she sings us "Goodbye, Farewell" on her way to bed.
Your daughter was awesome, as were all the kids and the stage was unbelievable. I can't express in words how completely real it all was--is--to my daughter and how much we loved that night as a daddy-daughter date.

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