A Nativity to Remember

Christmas Nativity

Ho, Ho, Ho.^^/

Christmas is a busy yet fun time. It may seem stressful but it’s all worth it in the end. =)

I saw an advert not too long ago of the Nativity film. It suddenly made me remember perhaps one of my busiest Christmas times, all the way back in 2005. In that year I starred in the nativity school play. I’m sure many of you have been part of the nativity back when you went to school, but how many of you starred in the nativity at 17 years old? Yep… I was 17 years old when I starred in the nativity…the irony has still not lost on me. Haha.

The SEN school I attended was very small. In that year there were 40 students in the entire school, thus, the entire school was part of the nativity. We had two scenes based on the birth of Jesus and the family dinner in the modern age…the younger students from the younger classes were part of the birth of Jesus scenes whilst the older students (me included) were part of the family dinner scene.

I played one of the two key characters in this play, Granddad. Me and this other lad were one of the only few who had a lot of speaking parts. I basically rambled on about the principles of Christmas and I would narrate the “story” to my family about the birth of Jesus. The settings would alternate between the family setting and the birth of Jesus.

We had plenty of good laughs here and there, we rehearsed the play for the whole school term… however, when December came I suddenly became really ill. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t speak and I lacked a lot of sleep. I had absolutely no idea what came over me. I was absent from school for a good while during that period.

If that wasn’t bad enough I had other acting commitments outside of school. I was part of two plays for two separate colleges (I attended one part time and I went to the other for work experience). And, I played Mr Beaver for an acting school, and that role in particular required a lot of energy. I was probably taking on a lot more than I could handle. I couldn’t go to school as I was ill. After resting up for a week I decided to partake in the performances at the colleges and drama school. My reason is that I only had to spend an hour at those performances and I could muster up the energy for that amount of time. With school…going to school would of course mean that I would have to spend the entire day there and obviously I couldn’t do that.

One day, a teacher rang my Mum to ask about my health. It was stressed that if I was going to stay absent for the whole term then the play would have to change, since I played a significant role. She sort of pleaded for me to come in and play my part. I felt a huge rush of pride souring through my veins. Feeling wanted and needed in a “crisis” motivates me to try my hardest. Plus, it was going to be the very last production from my school as they were closing the following year. I felt that it was imperative for me to attend.

In a way, I think that was the road to my recovery as I started to feel happy and gained some energy back. Technically, I still couldn’t go to school and learn but I could perform. During the final week I attended for rehearsals and for the final performance.

I was completely wiped out for the entire day. Haha. Everyone, from classmates to teachers understood that I was completely wacked out. I couldn’t really focus as much as I would have liked and I kept on missing my cues in rehearsal. In fact, I had to have the script inside my “storytelling book” for whenever I kept on forgetting my lines. I couldn’t speak very well so they gave me this microphone attached to my cravat so that my voice projected throughout the room.

During the little breaks and lunch breaks I actually stayed in my rocking chair and just slept and chilled out. I certainly made the most out of that! I decided that I was going to store up my energy for the actual performance.

The performance came and went. I like to think that it was a mighty successful one. I did miss some of my cues though, but, I made it work… sort of. Haha. The lad next to me kept on kindly reminding me (in a whisper) that I forgot certain lines during the actual show. Haha. Thank you my friend! XD

In the role of Granddad I wore a jumper, a cravat, a pair of fashion disaster glasses and a Charlie Chaplan cane. In this nativity play I did the most cringing thing in my life… I sang. I’ve never sung in my own house, let alone in a show. I had to get up from my chair, stand in front of the audience and sing a little song… it was bad enough that I couldn’t speak, but I had to really will myself and get my lungs to work. I also did a little Charlie Chaplan-esque dance at the end… that was fun but also a little embarrassing. When that skit was over I was able sit down and enjoy the show. Although, I still had to have wits about me as I still needed to narrate every now and then… I stayed put on the rocking chair for as long as I was allowed to. I experienced a few dizzy rushes and at times I couldn’t really hear what was said, thus, the reason why I kept on missing cues. Haha.

All things considered, it was a good valuable experience and even though I was off my head… it was all worth it. Everyone was buzzing throughout the day with positivity.

Psst, don’t tell anyone but I actually had a sneaky sleep during the carol singing in the after-performance part. 😉

THANKS FOR READING

I still watch the DVD of this production and look back at that time fondly. I especially watch the DVD at this time of year, as its Christmas. It was probably one of my most favourite memories of my school, if not the most. Oh, before I forget… NO I’m not going to share my singing from that show. Haha! =D

Thanks for reading.

Merry Christmas, everyone.^^/

Ryan.

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