(393 factored = 3, 131)
It's been a while since I've been this nervous about a script. However, when the kids' music camp director at church mentioned that we'd have to order a script from the VBS company for a musical for our kids to perform (this was months ago), naturally I said, "Hey, no worries. I'll just write something. That will be free!"
Music camp began yesterday. Actual scriptwriting started eight days ago at about 12:30 a.m. Script completion occurred at about 4:00 a.m. that same day. And tonight, I went in to help with "the drama part" of the musical. One of my kids had begged me at camp, "Mr. Will, please don't make it cheesy! Most of our music camp scripts are so cheesy!" To be honest, I didn't remember much from the three-point-five hour midnight writing session, so I had no idea if what I had written was cheesy or funny or even coherent. I went in tonight to get the kids' reaction to this short piece that their super-cool children's director had written for them to perform for their parents. Totally honest here: I was scared to hear what these kids would think.
Now, this isn't necessarily because I doubt my ability to write something that kids will enjoy. However, I was trying to tie the songs from VBS together into a story, and, um...well, some of the songs are Bible stories, some are about camping, and some are none of the above. Doesn't necessarily lend itself to much of a through-line. Instead, I wrote a play about children rehearsing for a musical featuring the songs they had learned in VBS.
See what I did there?
You cannot imagine my relief when virtually all of the kids came up to tell me how great the script was. Not only do they love it, but they each like their parts. (Admittedly, there are a lot of one-line roles for the younger kids, but they're pretty much there to sing the songs, be cute, and eat sugary snacks every night) The one girl who begged me to stray from unnecessary cheese even told me that it was perfect and gave me a high-five. Whew!
Here's the bestest part: as we were "blocking" each of the scenes, I watched the kids saying the lines on the page and....it actually is funny. Parts of it are really funny. I mean, it's a bit hokey and over-the-top, because hey, it's kids' music camp at a church using VBS songs. You can't have camp without camp. But for what it is, I think it actually turned out pretty decent. What I like most about it, I think, is that you can see traces of the kids in the group within the story. Most of the characters I wrote with specific kids in mind, and I must have done pretty well because the music director cast pretty much all of them in the roles they inspired. There are also several moments that are distinctly "Me," I think a little moreso than my more professional pieces. Finally, I worked in some inside jokes between me and a few of the kids. For example, one girl has been bugging me since winter to write a play for her in which she gets to be a unicorn princess. Believe it or not, I managed to work it in here. Sort of. And she loved it. In short: my favorite aspect of this script is that it is in every way a play for us. And while it won't ever be one of my greatest works, I think that's pretty cool.
I may post the script on here after the show Friday night. We'll see how it goes over with the grown-ups first ;-)