Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Two Different Views

Well, we survived La Nina's big weekend in Disneyland. She spent part of Friday, all of Saturday and most of Sunday back stage or dancing with the Disney choreographers. We spent the time she was gone either hitting rides she doesn't like, which is most of the rides, or waiting for her. The funny thing about the whole weekend is that while we thought it was perfectly dreadful, she completely loved it.

Friday, La Nina had a call time of 3pm. That meant she had to be completely ready to dance and at a designated place in Disneyland (Princess Fantasy Faire) at 3pm...not a minute late. SO, I left the park early, fed her, did her hair and makeup, packed up her costume and shoes and made it to the meeting point about 10 minutes early. She was marched off at 3pm and we were supposed to pick her up at 6:30. We knew she was required to bring a snack, which meant she wouldn't be getting dinner and we knew she was getting pictures taken and participating in a dress rehearsal, but otherwise, we really didn't know what she was doing.

While she was gone, we rode some rides and finally, I headed back to the meeting spot at 6:15. No kids. 6:30. No kids. At 7pm, Disney came out and told the waiting parents, it would be another 3o minutes. Finally, at 8:15 out came our little dancer. Now, I'm thinking, she has an early call time, she hasn't eaten, this is miserable. She came out hungry, but smiling. She told us about the side of the street she'd be on and how she made some new friends and she showed off her new pom-poms. Her dance teacher was really cool. Okay, quick dinner, off to bed we all go. We have an 8:45am call time the next morning for filming and a pick up time of noon.

Up early, hair, make up, packing repeat, quick breakfast, shuttle her off to the drop off point on time. As we're walking into Disneyland, we see throngs of people already lining Main Street to watch the filming scheduled for 10am, so we get stuck sitting on Main Street, because we want to see La Nina. The director comes out and explains he wants to wait for sun. So, we wait. The Dad shows up and he joins our wait. Some friends from group 96 show up, they start waiting. La Nina is backstage, so she's not waiting. Just us. Waiting. We debate the side of the street she's going to be on, we decide not to move and we wait some more. At 11am, the dancers march in along Main Street, looking absolutely adorable. I make a complete fool of myself yelling at the wrong kid and finally find my kid on the opposite side of the street. And we wait some more. Finally, the director yells action, kids start dancing and La Nina barely makes it to where we're sitting when the director yells cut and backs the kids up for another take. This happens 3 times. The Magster, the Dad and the friends bail. I switch sides of the street. As soon as I do this, the Disney folks reposition La Nina to the center, where I can barely see her. Director says it's a wrap at noon and we run off to pick up the kids.

Now, La Nina's second call time on Saturday is 2:45. All the moms are waiting for our kids because we have to feed them. 12:30 comes and goes, 1pm comes and goes. The moms are getting nervous. Food lines are long and we have another call time. Where are the kids? Finally, at 1:40 out come the kids. We grab the kids, run to the closest eatery, feed them on Disney meal cards, buy them more snacks for backstage and hit our second call time at 2:45pm. I'm tired, but La Nina goes bounding backstage as if the world's greatest shoe emporium were waiting for her. The big parade is at 6pm. This is the next time we'll see her.

As parade time approaches, we start strategizing on where best to watch her from. We decide on the side of the Matterhorn as there are benches and no crowds. We get spots on the correct side of the street, get the Magster a hot dog to stop the whining and again we wait. This time, everything is on time, no director to yell cut and the kids dance by. All the kids except ours. We search and we search. We can't find her. Finally, near the end of the 300 dancers on the opposite side of the street we see her beaming smile. She's having the time of her life. She shoots us a toothless grin and shakes her groove thing as she goes. Once she's past, we move to watch the real parade. I keep an eye on the time as I have another pick up at 7:30. Right at 7:30 out emerges my daughter, hungry but bubbling over with excitement. The Dad and the Magster have headed back to the room to get food ordered and La Nina and I make our way out of the park. As we're walking she casually mentions "oh, there were some dancers back stage tonight, they danced and talked about being dancers." I think she's talking about her friends, ask no questions and keep walking. I find out later it was Cheryl Burke and Tony from Dancing with the Stars. They did a demo and gave the girls a pep talk. No wonder she didn't complain about missing dinner.

Sunday. Worst call time yet: 7:30 am. The morning starts with La Nina refusing make up. She exhausted. I'm fine with her not dancing, but think she needs to come with me to tell her teacher. We leave the room, she immediately perks up. I put on her make up at the meeting spot. Off she goes again.

The Dad, the Magster and I have volunteered to be extras this morning. We're led into the park at 8am and head straight back to New Orleans Square. We're positioned in an alley, where Anika Noni Rose is going to sing the theme song to the Princess and the Frog and we're going to dance behind a band. At about 9am, this starts, but the singer only sings a couple sentences of the song and we end up walking may be 10 feet tops. We all back up and do it again, and again, and again. I stop liking directors. I think they are mean and evil people. The Magster loses it after the 3rd take and we end up sitting behind a wall. She's playing games on my iPhone. Now, I know that at 11am, I'm supposed to pick up La Nina and she's done for the weekend. So, we sneak out of the filming to find out what's happening with La Nina.

The Magster and I find her group. She's out on the SS Mark Twain waving a ribbon for the same promotion video we're extras for. It's a bad replay of the day before. Except we can't find her and decide she must be on the far side of the boat where we can't see her. 11am comes and goes, and they haven't shot the boat. Noon comes and goes, no boat shots. About 12:30 the singer is moved out to the boat for close ups. La Nina is on the 3rd floor, the singer is on the first floor. She never sees the singer. The boat shots finally happen around 1pm. La Nina has been on the boat for 4 hours by then. I'm worried she hasn't had food, water or a potty. It's sort of warm and she's wearing black. Yikes, this is going to be ugly. The silver lining I'm starting to see is that may be this will discourage her dreams of being a professional dancer. Maybe she'll play soccer again next year, this has been so miserable. The weekend has been tedious at best. Surely, any child will realize this show business thing is really awful.

But when she comes off the boat at 1:30, it's not what I expected. She's made new friends on the boat. One of the cast members discovered her Spanish and began speaking to her only in Spanish. She's been assigned a 5 year old to help...she's had a grand time. Oh, and that teacher she was talking about, turns out it was one of the dancers from High School Musical. And oh, she was learning some cool dance moves. No, she's had a great time. What exactly is my problem? No, she'd go back again next weekend if she could and frankly, mom, I don't know why you thought it was soooo boring. Clearly we were not at the same event.

The good news is her studio only does this once every three years, but at the moment that sounds way too soon for me..


  • At 10:18 PM , Blogger ExCindrela said...

    LOL...(I say this with love) I WARNED YOU!!!

    the kids always have a great time-but it's hell for everyone else. It actually sounds like your filmings went relatively well if you did the "back up and take it again" less than 6 times. grateful you had no "night" shoots- the call for those is often 10 pm or 4am... or both!!!

    I'm glad Carly had fun and got to meet some of the Disney/ABC personalities- that's always exciting.

    Good luck for next year!!


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