Alright readers, I said in my first round of notes that I would try to get an interview with my assistant. She’s agreed to do it. And of course, it’s about the cantata.

Just to give a slight intro: Her name is Nia and she’s 11. Like I said before, she helped me out last year so some questions will be about last year as well as her thoughts on this year. We might even do a post-show interview to see what she thought about the show. She wants to be a journalist (big time!). So, we both write, albeit in different ways. And no, she’s probably never going to blog here. Not that she wouldn’t but, I haven’t asked her because this doesn’t seem like something she’d be interested in. At least not yet as well all know lots of great journalists of today have blogs.

What’s interesting about Nia is that, and she doesn’t quite know this, but she is the ultimate reason why I’m doing this thing again. I remember one day she straight up told me to my face that I was doing it. I asked her why and she said because she said so. There was also another statement that she said but nobody would believe an 11 year old would say that so I’ll be quiet.

It’s deep because I called myself challenging God just a couple of days before that, if He sent someone to tell me to do it, outside of my household members, then I would do it. Not ask. This person had to tell me I was going to do it. Two days later, Nia smacks me in the face with those words. My hands were tied. I was shocked that she was the person (but was not shocked she said it; she’s a feisty one).

Anyway, here we are, year two of this partnership.

So, after going over the script and seeing the rehearsals so far, are you excited about the show? How are you feeling?

Okay, I’m actually really excited. Really, I’m enthusiastic. Some changes have been made but, we made our way through it. And, we’re just; I think we’re just gonna do great on this show this year.

Alright, so, this is your second year doing this. However, the script is completely different from last year. I sometimes ask myself this question: Is there any experience from last year that you’ve taken that you’re hoping will help you this year?

Okay…uh, yeah, I would say I’ve taken a lot of experience because, it was my first time doing lighting. I thought I was gonna mess it up; I thought I was gonna do horrible. And, the first time you told me to do it faster; the lighting, whew!, that scared the bejeesers out of me. (laughs) Yeah, it scared me, but, I’ve actually taken a lot and…I’ve learned to not say things in a headset.

A little note about her last statement, all of the people in production, from the stage hands, to the lighting and audio, were all connected by your standard headsets. On the night of one of the shows, a guy actually swore and his microphone was on. He was on my lighting team. Yeah, I know. Anyway, back to the interview.

Now, I saw last time we met, you had your folder with the script and notes and such I gave you for the cantata. I take it you’re definitely serious about your job. Of course, I figured you’d be, otherwise I wouldn’t have given you the responsibilities that you have. Still, how have you been preparing yourself for this role in your free time?

Okay, I’m not gonna lie. I envision myself with the spotlight…(she then proceeds to gesture how to operate the spotlight in a frantic manner). But, I’ve prepared myself mentally because I have to just tell myself “You’re gonna do great and you’re not gonna mess it up, you’re gonna do awesome. And, I just wanna stay in a relaxed, you know, stationary kind of feeling while I’m doing it.

Okay, you’ve seen the previous version of the cantata and you know the script of this version. To be fair to this year, since we haven’t seen the show in action, strictly on a script basis, which show was/is better?

To be honest…I don’t always like going with the flow. But…em, like this year, I was really kinda “iffy” about it. Like, I really wanted to do my ministry in the mime ministry. I would have. And, a lot of things have changed in the script-wise, that’s…(sighs) just a little confusing for me, but, you know, I just hope everything runs well. Everyone’s…happy with the way…the play went. And…yeah, so just come to see how it went and, you know, make, if we’re preparing for it next year, make the footnotes, the little changes. I do…the way it’s playing out in action, it does look an alright kind of play. It should go well.

So, is it better than last year’s play?

In my opinion, I wanna say no. I would just; l always have a joy of coming to the cantata. Even though I knew what was gonna happen in the play…

You enjoyed the journey?

Yeah, I enjoyed what happened with it. And, this year, I hope I do, but, I know that I can never take away that first time I saw the cantata, for me.

So far, have you enjoyed working with me? Rate my “performance”.

(chuckles) Oh, of course I have. Of course I-

I’m gonna need you to be honest.

I’m being honest. You’re funny, you’re a great co-worker, you’re just…enthusiastic, and…I just feed off of your excitement. And you got like an A+++ for you performance-wise.

So, you seem to enjoy helping me out. Do you see yourself directing the lighting one day? I actually see the personality and qualities in you to do it.

Actually…I’d have to see what the job calls for. Cause if it’s too much, I really don’t feel like stressing myself out because I would get frustrated, I would not like my co-workers, I would be…just mean, and I really don’t wanna be that kind of person during the cantata. And, I feel, that, I’ve come to the conclusion: I know where you’re at as a…spotlight/lighting director as yourself and if you ever get too stressed out, just say ‘Hey Nia…I can’t handle it” Ya know? I just want you to feel comfortable, me feel comfortable, and the other person doing the lighting too.

Just so you know, in that last sentence, she wasn’t disregarding the new team member. They still haven’t met yet so she didn’t have much to work with.

Lastly, would you be part of the lighting team for next year’s show?

Of course. Love working on this…what can I call it? I just love working with the lighting. But I’m…not sure I’m ready to be a leader yet; just a little bit more experience. But yes, I would most likely come back next year.

I want to thank Nia for coming on and doing this interview with me. Nia, is there anything, lastly you wanna say?

…No, nothing…

Okay, just to give the scene behind that last quote: She actually ended up laughing while I was “signing off” on my recorder. She was completely out of it by the time I asked her if she had anything else to say. She needed a few moments before she could muster a gasping “No, nothing”. Not sure why.

So that’s it. Nia is my little buddy but make no mistake: I picked her to join my team because she’s good for the job. If she wasn’t, I would have shot her down, baby. But, like I mentioned in one of the questions, she has leadership qualities and I think at some point she could take over my spot (I plan on doing at least one more year of this; two years at the most). She’s got the right attitude, voice, and early signs of dedication that the job requires. But, I completely feel her on the stress factor. I’m the same way; I’m not going to be stressed out. No more.

I always strive for safety first for my teams. This year, I’m having Nia upgrade her role to handling a spotlight. However, I didn’t anticipate dealing with the possibility of her being too short. Bless her sweet little heart she may need a stepping stool. But hey, David took down a giant. She can take the spotlight. I still think it’s pretty funny though. I say that because I was trying find something that she could stand on without a chance of her falling over. If I couldn’t find anything that I felt was safe enough, I wouldn’t have her doing it. End of story. Same for my other assistant.

By the time I “retire” she would probably be 13 or 14. So, if she were to take on the leadership role as soon as I’m done, she’d be a teen leader. I’ve always said that age shouldn’t be something to stop you from doing great things. All except one helper in all my years of doing this was over the age of 18. In a church where kids aren’t always involved, I try to make sure they have a chance to contribute. Maybe because I’ve been working with them since I was 12 (yeah, I know; I was a kid then too technically) and I see things in them.

I am proud of her. She’s taken the concept of growing in her role easily. At first, I was barely going to have her on the spotlight. Then I was like “why am I under estimating this girl?” We’ll have rehearsals to see if she’s up for the challenge.

Do I think she’ll help me out again next year? No, not if there’s something else going on. Not to expose her business, but I’m pretty sure the only reason why she’s helping me is because another part of the show, the mime ministry she was talking about, which is normally a part of the show, was axed by the new director. If the director decides to bring this back, I’m probably going to lose my best helping hand that I ever had. But, she has to do what she has to. Priorities. She used “calling” which is a good word for it. I understand and respect whatever path she chooses. Also, if she does in fact go the other way, I’m probably not going to even take on the role of director. Like I said before the interview, it was her that got me to do it again in the first place.

I was a little surprised at the “work with me” answer. I figured she had kind words but they did touch me. Even her next answer. That part where she had my back, in a sense, towards the end was really nice. I constantly tell her how she doesn’t have to worry about anything. You’ll notice a couple of times she was “scared”. Even the prospect of using the spotlight had her rattled. But, that’s fine. You know that quote: If you don’t think you’re ready; you’re ready. Or something like that.

You can tell by the answers that she’s bright and intelligent. I only pick the best, baby! She’s been very mature about this and I’m glad for that.

Since my last update, I’ve added an extra member to the team. So, I’m going to see if I can interview her too. Heck, Nia’s the journalist; she could interview her. Shucks, she could interview me. I’m just the blogger.

Okay, so next update shouldn’t be any time soon unless something major happens. I would imagine December would be the next update. I still want to do a video update so you can get a look at what I’ll be working with. Behind the scenes type thing.

And, to finish things off, a reminder: November is a time of changes for DALANEL. I’ll be making some tweaks and such. I might add a new feature to Daily Good Stuff. I’m going to update the pages. Might be a new page, could lose a page or two. I plan on experimenting with a new writing style; a new voice. Won’t be much of a personal side from me during this time. Plus, I’ll be getting into the swing of things at FanSided and my other blog. I’ll go in greater detail tomorrow. By December, this blog will have endured the changes and we’ll go into 2014 with a bang.

Add Nia to your circles on Google+ (and you add me too!). In fact, you can just look to the left and see a “Connect with Dante” widget. Click that G+ logo and you’re right at my profile. Yay.

Until then…uh…tip your waitresses! Even the ugly ones!

-DALANEL

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