Week 2

Will had his first day off yesterday, after rehearsing 5 days straight. Monday is always their day off... it has something to do with the Actor's Union for the actor's that are part of it. He seems to be  really be liking it. He is definitely learning a lot!

Mom: Week 2 Will...what do you think?
Will: I think it is fun.
Mom: What have you been doing at the practices?
Will: "It's a Fine Life," "Pick a Pocket or Two" and "Consider Yourself." That's it.
Mom: What about "Food, Glorious Food?"
Will: Umm... no...we have that down.
Mom: Do you do anything special in any of the new songs that you are working on?
Will: Yeah, at the end of "Pick a Pocket or Two" Fagan says, "Put all the stuff back in the box."
Mom: What stuff?
Will: All of the stuff that we picked out of peoples pockets.
Mom: Oh, ok, go ahead.
Will: Then I pretend to put the coin in the box but really I didn't. But then I walk over to another boy and show him that I didn't put it in and whisper," Hey, I still have it."
Mom: Then what?
Will: Then Fagan says,"ALL OF THEM" because he knows that I still have the coin. So I really put it back in the box this time and Fagan picks me up by my hips and says," What a crook!"
Mom: Is that a funny part?
Will: Yes!
Mom: Do you do anything else special in other songs?
Will: I am a horse in "Consider Yourself."
Mom: Did you get fitted for your costume yet?
Will: No, only my shoes.
Mom: How have the other kids been? Any problems?
Will: Good...no problems.
Mom: Aren't you going to practice early tomorrow to work on something special?
Will:  Yes!!!! Tomorrow we have to go early because they have to record all of us singing "Food Glorious Food" for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. We won't really be singing at the parade...we have to lip sync on Thanksgiving.
Mom: So, do you like going to all of these practices? This is like having a real job!!
Will: Yeah, it is really, really, really fun! I like getting the paycheck.

Ahhhhhh....him telling me how much he likes it  makes ALL of our craziness getting him there and back every day TOTALLY worth it!!! Get your tickets.THis show is going to be good!


A New Song

Almost a week of practicing has come and gone...and what a week it has been. We are all still adjusting to the rehearsal schedule. We overslept on Friday morning...which no one in this house ever does, and we all decided to do nothing tonight...which we never do! Will had rehearsal yesterday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m, and today from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Long hours this kid has been keeping. I think we are more tired than he is.

Mom: You were at practice for a REALLY long time today. I missed you...did you miss us??
Will: Yes.
Mom: What did you do all day?
Will: We practiced "Pick a Pocket or Two."
Mom: What about "Food Glorious Food?"
Will: Yeah, we did that too. We spent more time on "Pick a Pocket or Two" today.
Mom: Who is in "Pick a Pocket or Two" with you?
Will: Oliver, Dodger, Fagan and Fagan's Gang. I'm in Fagan's gang.
Mom: Are all of the kids in Fagan's Gang?
Will: No. Mostly the boys...but a few girls. Mom, I am supposed to be the youngest one in Fagan's Gang, so the Fagan is training me to steal things...not for real...in the show.
Mom: OH...that sounds interesting! Did you learn the song and dance today?
Will: We learned the song but not the dance. But they needed a kid to go on Alex's shoulders and they picked me. So I went on his shoulders but my leg started to hurt because of his shoulder, so someone esle had to do it. But then when I saw another kid try it, I changed my mind and told Ms. Kate that I wanted to do it now because it would make you proud, but they kept the other kid doing that part up on the shoulders. I'm not going to do it.
Mom: Will, I am always proud of you. You don't need to be on someone's shoulders for me to be proud of you! Tell me what else you did today?
Will: I got fitted for my shoes. I am a size 13.
Mom: What do the shoes look like?
Will: They look like tap shoes, but they don't have taps on the bottom, and they are soft not hard...and they are not plastic.
Mom: What about lunch? What did you do at lunch?
Will: I ate everything in my lunch box except for one pack of crackers, and then I played "Deal or No Deal" on my Nintendo DS. Some kids watched me.
Mom: How were the kids? Were there any problems?
Will: Well, I spilled water on my pants on the break and when I came back into the room, one by ( Will named him, but I will not) said," Hey everybody, Will had an accident." He said it to everyone. I told Ms. Kate and she took him out of the room for a little, then he came back in.
Mom: Were you upset?
Will: Yes, I made a face but I didn't cry. I made the face so no one else could see.
Mom: Who is the nicest kid you met so far?
Will: Sam.
Mom: Why is he so nice?
Will: Because he does nice stuff for everyone and is nice to everyone. At lunch time he played with everybody. Can we carve the pumpkins now?
Mom: Yes, Will.

Why do kids have to be so mean???UGHH!!! That part broke my heart. Will is excited to be part of Fagan's Gang. He thinks that song is really cool. Although he was there for a long period of time today, he is not one bit tired. He came through the door, happy and excited about getting ice cream and carving pumpkins tonight. Hope and Molly won a raffle at Settlement Music School today. That is where they take piano lessons. The prize was a BIG Halloween basket with lots of Halloween treats. They told Will that since he probably won't get to go Trick or Treating because of the rehearsals, that the basket could be his, as long as he shares some of the stuff in it with them! He was smiling from ear to ear.
I want him to have a great time while in this play, but I also want him to stay a typical kid...a kid that happens to like musicals and singing and dancing.  I don't want other kids to make him feel bad about himself or tease him because he is the youngest one. I want this experience to be a positive one. Let's hope that it is!


Fun Day

WOW! Can't believe this is already Will's third day of practice. I got to drop him off today. I got to see where the children hang out until they are needed and called. I gotta tell ya, it seemed like it could be a little boring when they aren't doing anything, so now I understand why Will described it like that on his first day.

Mom: Day three Will...what did you think?
Will: I think today was really, really. really fun!
Mom: Why?
Will: Because we learned the WHOLE dance of Food Glorious Food. We already knew the song so today we did the whole entire dance.
Mom: Where did you practice it?
Will: In the room that I danced in for the auditions.
Mom: Do all of the kids practice at once?
Will: The Green Team goes at once, and then the Blue Team goes at once.
Mom: What do you do when the blue team is practicing, since you are in the Green Team?
Will: We sit next to where the blue team is dancing and watch.
Mom: What did you do on your breaks?
Will: I ate the snacks that were in my lunch bag. All of our breaks today were only 5 or 10 minutes. I didn't have time to play.
Mom: So, now that you've been with the kids for three days, what do you think of them?
Will: I think they are fun to play with. Most of them are nice, but one girl was mean to me.
Mom: What did she do that was mean?
Will: When the piano player told us to practice singing "Food Glorious Food" on our own, I was singing it and she said," Can you stop singing." And she didn't even say please!
Mom: What did you say?
Will: I said," No." And I kept on singing.
Mom: What did she do then?
Will: She didn't care.
Mom: But all of the other kids have been nice?
Will: Yes.
Mom: Did anything else happen that you want to tell me about?
Will: Yeah, Dad asked Miss Kate if we are getting out of practice early on Halloween.
Mom: And what did she say?
Will: She said No.
Mom: WHOA!!!They aren't letting you out early to go Trick or Treating?????
Will: No. Mom... Hope, Molly and Lucy are going to have more candy than me aren't they?

Come on!!! No early dismissal for Trick or Treating????


A Better Day ( I Hope!!)

Today Will had rehearsal from 3:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. It was a little shorter today. He should have gone to school...but he didn't. He was exhausted from yesterday. Since it was only a half  day of school today, we kept him home. Art took him to the theater around 2:30 p.m. and picked him up at 7:00 p.m.

Mom: Was today better than yesterday?
Will: YES!
Mom: How?
Will: Well, it was shorter and I made friends, and we started doing "Food Glorious Food." We did the dance and it was really cool.
Mom: Tell me about it.
Will: First we walked around the table, then we stood next to the seats then we started singing. We had a bowl and a spoon in our hands. I sit next to the boy that plays Oliver. His name is Sam. I made friends with him. After we sang a little, we banged our bowls on the table. Then we sang again. We banged our hands on the table and then sat down. We some more too.
Mom: Was it fun?
Will: Yes
Mom: Did you practice "Food, Glorious Food" all day?
Will: Yes, we didn't practice anything else.
Mom: Did you meet some of the kids today?
Will: Yes. One of them has brown hair that is a little bit long. I played a little bit with him.
Mom: What's his name?
Will: I don't know.
Mom: What did you do at lunch time?
Will: We didn't have lunch time today because the adults in the show already had lunch. They were practicing a lot longer than us.
Mom: Did you practice on the stage?
Will: No. We don't do it on the stage for two more weeks. We practice it in the room where we danced for the audition.
Mom: Was it still boring?
Will: No
Mom: Do you want to go back tomorrow?
Will: Yep..oh, yeah, and we wrote in our scripts what the dance is going to be like. A boy named Justin let me use his highlighter. We put our scripts in a folder. I decorated it by drawing Monster Trucks. Sam helped me spell some words on my folder.

When Art picked him up today, Ms. Kate said that he had a good day. I was glad to hear that!!!


First Day of Rehearsals

Well, today was the day! Will's first day of rehearsals for Oliver! He woke up at the crack of dawn, and was super excited. He had a backpack packed and ready to go. He packed his Nintendo DS and a few books. He had to be there at 10 a.m. ( Art took him) and he finished at 6:00 p.m. From 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. they had a "Meet and Greet." Everyone involved in the production introduced themselves...everyone!! After that Art left Will there with the other children. There is a Child Coordinator, Ms. Kate, that is responsible for the care of the children. We wondered all day how he was doing. I mean he is only six years old. Eight hours is a long time for him...especially when he doesn't know anyone. When he got home we asked him all about his day.

Mom: So, what do you think?
Will: It was fun...a little bit boring.
Mom: What did you do all day?
Will: I played "Red Light, Green Light" at lunch time. We talked about what the stage is going to look like for the show. We practiced songs and read through the whole entire show. It was a little boring. I played with my Nintendo DS at break time. I ate 4 cinamon buns and one muffin at the "Meet and Greet" and I ate one donut.
Mom: WOW! You ate a lot of junk. Where did you get it all from?
Will: There was a whole big table of food.
Mom: Did you meet lots of people?
Will: No.
Mom: What about all of the other kids?Weren't you with them all day?
Will: Yeah, I was with them all day but I didn't meet them. I asked questions to Miss Debbie ( stage manager) and I talked to Ms. Kate ( Child Coordinator) but I didn't meet  the kids.
Mom: Are you the youngest kid there?
Will: I think so.
Mom: What was your favorite part of the day?
Will: Playing "Red Light, Green Light."
Mom: Do you want to go back tomorrow?
Will: It was so boring, I don't know. I guess.

So, there you have it. He spends  eight hours at the Walnut Street Theater with about 30 other kids and he didn't "meet" any of them. He played and ate snacks. Let's hope he finds tomorrow more exciting!



Check back often for updates on Will McQuoid's experiences while rehearsing for and performing in Oliver! at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia, PA. The production will run from November 10, 2009 - January 10, 2010. Will will performing in the weekend shows. He is part of the "Green Team" which will be performing in the Friday night ( 8:00 p.m.) shows, Saturday ( 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.) shows and Sunday (2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.) shows. However, there are a few Sunday, 8:00 p.m. performances that the "Green Team" will not be doing, and instead, the "Blue Team" ( they do all of the weekday performances) will be doing those.

Will is super excited to have been chosen to perform in Oliver! He can't wait for the show to begin.

Will's school, Hancock Demonstration School, suggested that he keep a journal to document this experience. Instead of a traditional journal,a very good friend of mine, Lisa Kelley, created this Blog. She is an awesome artist ( Graphic Design) whose creativity is amazing. She was nice enough to design this Blog so that I will be able to record this wonderful experience for Will, but at the same time share it with everyone that is interested. She has an amazing website where you can check out lots of her work and purchase what you like. Check out her site.
Thank you Lisa!