Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mr. Joe the MC

Joe and I work with a really great group of Korean staff. There are five Korean staff members and the Principal. They all have job titles and business cards that don't correctly reflect the work that they do. Overall they are a great group of woman that take very good care of us and the students.

Ms. Flora is the "Kindergarten Musical Director" and is by far our favorite Korean staff member. When she is not working at BIS she has a handful of other musical programs she is directing. One day
Ms. Flora  invited us to attend a musical performance that some of the BIS first graders were putting on. It would take place on a weekend a few subway stops away. We quickly accepted the invitation and were excited to see some of our students outside of BIS.

A few days after our invitation Ms. Flora asked me if we could talk in her office. I assumed that she wanted to talk about my teaching or a student.  I was shocked when she actually wanted to know if Joe and I were good dancers. (In our previous year teaching/living in Korea we took a few dance lessons to prepare for our wedding and taught the kindergartners the Macarena, she had this prior knowledge of our "dancing" abilities) Before I could even answer she asked if Joe and I would be willing to dance during the musical performance. Ms. Flora explained that there would be five "acts", in between each act the children would need time to change. She had been recruiting family members and friends to perform, but needed one more.  I have a week spot for Ms. Flora and without even asking Joe (shame on me) I agreed.

That day at lunch I told Joe the good news (he was actually very willing). We threw out some ideas, but settled on teaching/dancing the Cha Cha slide. It is a really up beat, easy song and we taught it to the kids we taught in Portland last year. We joked at lunch that we should stick clear of Ms. Flora or she might ask Joe to be the MC. (as the only male teacher at our school Joe is the MC for ALL events at BIS).

I guess we should have knocked on wood because within the next 48 hours Ms. Flora cornered me again during my break and asked if I thought Joe would be a co-MC along with our Principal's husband. Again (shame, shame on me) I happily agreed on Joe's behalf.

She also wanted to confirm that Joe had appropriate clothes to wear; this is a summary of our conversation.

Ms. Flora: "most days Mr. Joe clothes is so so......this musical day Mr. Joe clothes is nice."
Me: "oh... You want him to wear something nice, like a tie?
Ms. Flora: "Yes! This day Mr. Joe look handsome"

Luckily for me Joe was teaching so I quickly popped my head into his room and nonchalantly mentioned that I was REALLY excited for our Cha Cha performance and seeinghimbetheMCwithMs.Karenshusbandwearingatie next weekend. I ran out of the room and hid in my classroom until lunch.

When we talked about it later Joe was fine with being the MC.

The week before the musical Ms. Flora handed me directions to the theater and Joe's MC script.

The only problem being that most of it was in Korean.

The day of the musical we took the quick subway trip to Yatap where the theater was. Ms. Flora had given us some sketchy directions, but we managed to find the theater with a little help from a kind Korean man.

We arrived for the dress rehersal and got straight to work. Ms. Flora was busy getting the performers together, checking lighting and music cues. Joe and the other MC, Byron, got to work figuring out what to say/do. The plan was for Joe to explain each scene and introduce the performers in English then, Byron would translate it to Korean. Byron was hillarious!  Only knowing Ms. Karen I would have never expected her husband to be so easy going and funny. It was very refreshing. He also spoke English very well so communication was not an issue.

The dress rehersal ran a little long so Joe and I never got to go on stage to practice the Cha Cha Slide. As the room filled with audience members I got really nervous. I was glad we didn't have time to practice, the thought of being on stage once was enough for me.

The performance was made up of five songs, one song from each of the following well known musicals; The Lion King, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Annie and The Sound of Music. Between each act the guest preformers would do their thing so that the actors could change.

Joe and Byron did a wonderful job as MC's. I was a very proud wife.
The best part of having Joe as the MC was when he would ask the audience to give the kids another round of applause or when he would make a comment that would normal cue clapping of some sort, the room would fall silent. Although many of the people in the audience spoke some English I would say 80% or more of the audience had no idea what he was saying. At one point Joe thanked a guest performer for coming on stage. Everything seemed fine to Joe and I but Byron quickly chimed in, cutting Joe off in Korean, then he motioned toward Joe and everyone laughed/clapped. ?? Who knows!

Joe and Byron on stage

The Cha Cha  Slide was the last guest performance. Getting up on stage was easier than I thought it would be. Ms. Flora brought a bunch of audience members on stage to dance with us. They really got into it.
At one point Joe and I were on stage dancing and he looks at me and says,
Joe- "Can you believe we are doing this?" 
Me- "NO"

In retrospect we are both glad to have had the opportunity and experience.

The kids did a great job. Joe and I were both really impressed by how well they all sang and danced.
After the curtain call the kids all stood on stage for a photo session. They called Joe and I up for a photo too. Sadly Ms. Flora has not given us copies of any of the photos yet.

But enjoy a few picture of the kids.

After it was all said and done Ms. Karen invited us out to dinner. It was a great way to end the evening.

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