As an obligation to my previous job (high school theater teacher), I have taken 17 teenagers to the United Kingdom. There is a musical director (my old supervisor) and three mothers along with us. Our mission - perform a musical at the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotoland.
We began our trip last Tuesday night, taking an overnight flight to London-Gatwick. Shopping, sight-seeing and "Les Miserables" ensued for a day and a half. Most of the kids did well on this part of the trip. A few are creating some "drama" and one of the parents complains more than anyone with our group. I'd never been to London before, so the musical director and one of the kids showed everyone around.
On Friday we got up bright and early to catch the train to Edinburgh. The continental breakfast upset the complaining daughter and her child. I sent the child out of the lobby when I had enough of her smart-ass comments. Earlier, her mother tried to pull the "but we're Americans and expect..." card. I told her that wouldn't fly.
The train ride was very cool and we made it into our dorm rooms in Edinburgh by 4pm. After dinner and sleep, we had a morning technical rehearsal, then spent the rest of Saturday exploring Edinburgh. I was in my element here, leading a group of the guys through the old section of the city while the rest of the group shopped in the new part of town.
The lads and I hit secondhand stores, music shops, a computer dealer, comic book seller and an internet cafe on the way back to campus. We even started a gang - named after the first street we came to. Several of us now belong to the Montagues! My nickname is B-Ill. Other members include Master Rob, Tony, Pinball, Doc, Roscoe, and Smash.
Celebrity sighting - Mike McShane of the British "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" We chatted him up for a few minutes, then headed back to campus.
Saturday night was uneventful, except for some drunk college guys trying to pick up some of the girls in our group.
Sunday saw us hitting church for Mass (a field trip requirement - we're a Catholic school). After a quick snack, half the group costumed up to take part in the Cavalcade parade on Princes street. Over 100,000 spectators were there to take it all in. Several of the other high school groups followed a double decker bus with more singing teens on it.
About halfway through the route, Smash attempted a high kick and popped his knee. I assisted him for a few minutes, but couldn't make any progress. So he hopped on my back and I ran a quarter mile up the street to toss him onto the bus. We must have been interesting to look at.
After an emergency room visit (no serious damage) the two of us returned to campus and had dinner. The rest of the group was out and about, so we hung out. Smash showed me how to use garage band. We made a very hip dance mix.
Well, our first performance is less than three hours from now. More Fringe notes to come...