Friday, August 30, 2013

You're going to camp whether you like it or not.

By Alisa McLaughlin

I planned to be at the  annual Kindtree Autism Camp early to beat the rush and rehearse for a role in a play one of the Volunteers wrote . I  say planned because my plans didn't quite work out that way. Thursday morning my ride never appeared leaving me frantic, confused, angry and so stressed I thought, the hell with it. Once again fate was in charge.I woke Friday and immediately got a call from Nell, one of the directors of the camp.

"We need you out here." were the magic words she said. I got a ride from another volunteer Julie, and we arrive mid afternoon. Unfortunately I missed a shift of work and a rehearsal so I was way behind the schedule. No problem, no worries I'm here that's what counts.

The  main work on Saturday was the technical rehearsal for the play. The final draft of the play was delivered to me when I arrive so we're all reading from the script here and at the show. In a homage to Dr. Who, Frankie has written a play that could easily pass for an actual episode. Pretty good since he's never done this before. He plays The Doctor but is preoccupied with directing. Tim plays a befuddled Professor and offers ideas on direction. Logan-playing the villain, proves to be very professional, picks up on his stage business, gets into his part and has most of his part memorized which impresses me. A high energy pre teen is cast for a small role and does the news commentator on a pre recorded video. He's all over the place and I wonder if he is up to the discipline of acting.  I'm stressing about the complicated blocking.

Panels of cardboard are painted brown with yellow circles like the interior of the TARDIS.  One of the panels is discarded because of space and Logan decides it looks like an easy version the game twister "Left leg on yellow, right leg on yellow, left hand on yellow, left hand on yellow" Yeah, that's it I laugh. The prop control panel could easily have come from the early days of the BBC show when they had no budget. We all love it's thrown together appeal.

I'm tired from rehearsal and go to my tent for a ten minute nap that turns into a 30 minute nap. I miss out of the many activities scheduled but camping for me is about resting not doing. So I  enjoy throwing a frisbee around the open field with campers in the warn sun. I wander over in time to see Mary -Minn and company packing up after the watercolor class I missed. They speak in a fake French accent for some strange reason  while they clean up. "ah  ze colors are magnifique." "Zees is ze best water color ever. " I didn't miss the fun after all.

The  play is presented at the end of the talent show Saturday night and is wildly enjoyed despite the imperfect staging and my stepping on Frankie's lines-twice. The crowd loves it and that's all the matters. Afterwards he and Ryan do their impression of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. I went to bed.

Sunday I rose to late for the eggs so I have bacon and fruit for breakfast. I take a long walk to the end of the camp  and back. Big mistake, even though it was quite lovely and quiet. I then spend over two hours helping in the kitchen which I rather like even though it's tiring work. I have spent the last month sitting on my butt while writing a novel so I get all the exercise I missed done in one weekend. It's raining and I'm exhausted when Julie and I head back to Eugene. I'm so tired I swear I'm not going to do it again next year. 

Well, there is talk of a sequel to the play.