Success in Entertainment

By: Shannon Shull

“I love watching school drama performances. I have seen many over the years at middle schools and high schools from many different districts. The drama performance from Friday was by far the best performance I have ever seen. It was so much fun to watch the performance, it was very creative, and I just didn’t want it to end. I was so proud of the students, but really impressed with how amazing this production was. I doubt any program in the state could compare.” 

It’s my second year of teaching in the public school arena and I somehow survived yet another enormous show. I took on the task of creating something truly entertaining while providing my 70 honors students with a fun learning experience. I about lost my sanity in the process, but hey, I guess any true, dedicated artist sacrifices their body and a level of sanity in order to create amazing things!

honors drama show

The quote above came from a respected fellow teacher that recently moved to our district. I was so pleasantly surprised to have him send this email not only to me, but to the principal of the school where I teach. Comments like these mean the world to me. Besides the standing ovation of an audience applauding your work, hearing the students brag about their incredible experience and listening to their parents thank you for all of your hard work, well…that certainly helps make the 70-hour work weeks leading up to the show a little easier to forgive and forget! And at the end of the show, upon completing all the bows of my young stars, a student proceeded to take the microphone from me and share lovely words about their teacher. Several of them passed the microphone around and spoke about how grateful they were for me – one even declaring that she was thankful that I taught her to embrace her weirdness and be confident in her talents. I cried as I felt validation for the hard work I’ve dedicated to teaching these kids!

Entertainment success

And the icing on the cake for me was the truly priceless gift of having my own children in the audience supporting me and seeing the fruits of my labor. Though I’m an artist and a teacher, I am a mother first and having my precious ones present to support me, well, let’s just say it helped to complete the moment. My babies know that I work incredibly hard on my shows and they adore my students, so it was important that they be able to see the finished product. Not to mention, I knew that this would be a show that they would actually like! This recent show was all about the 1980s and featured all sorts of 80s fun that is relatable to all ages. The thought of my own children not being able to come to my show was heartbreaking. My daughter had a make-up soccer game that threatened to keep her away. This was not easy on me, to say the least. Needless to say, when I saw my parents bring both my babies in before the show started, I broke down crying. It was a joyful cry at the sight of them, knowing my angels would be there to share this big moment with me!

Me and my girl, Mina

The greatest compliments I received all night, that truly made my heart swell, came after the show, when I asked my son what he thought of the show. My son, who is incredibly hard to please and typically has no desire to see any live show of any sort, responded with total enthusiasm. “It was the best show ever!!!!” And on the car ride home, my daughter said to me, “Mama, it was totally worth it.” I responded, asking her what was totally worth it? She said, “Missing my soccer game to come to your awesome show!”

Yep, gold…absolute stars and pixie dust… treasures. That was indeed the icing on the cake that took blood, sweat and lots of tears to create! It’s the little things, ya’ll. Entertainment success achieved. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Success in Entertainment

  1. The performance was awesome and your passion showed through your students. Great talent you have to work with and I’m so glad you are in your role to share your love of entertainment, acting and performing with the young minds in our community. It was an honor to be in the audience proudly sitting on the front row with our precious family reliving the 80’s through the eyes of the Chapin Middle School Drama class and their fabulous teacher! Thanks for a fun night.

  2. This production was well thought out with attention to detail that began months ago and as any theater or musical director will know, the hours spent writing script, auditioning students and collecting props, not to mention gathering music, coordinating sound, lighting, getting students to rehearsals, keeping parents informed… Goodness, it’s 3 full time jobs on top of required school work !!! Shannon also coordinated with the school orchestra director to include her very talented students, in the production. That was a wonderful demonstration of the “world view” approach to teaching. I’m proud of you Shannon and of all of the many teachers across the community that have so much extra production work to do at this time of year.Thank you to parent volunteers! To this busy time, add in in parenting and household duties and “Jeepers” , yes Superwomen and men do exist !! Mina and Sawyer were sitting on either side of me during the show and I was about to burst with pride just seeing how absolutely delighted with and proud of their Mama, they were! Kudos, Shannon Liz ! Kudos .
    Robin Vaughan-Parler

  3. Pingback: Use Your Noodles! | Every Woman Blog

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