November 6, 2018
Herding Drunken Cats - or - Creating a Murder Mystery Dance Video With People You Love
Posted by: Nancy Skee
Question: What do you get when you take 1 Bed and Breakfast, add 12 friends, 1 weekend, 15 costumes, a Murder Mystery dinner with cocktails, and 1 former Performing Arts teacher?
Answer: A Ballroom Blitz that will be remembered for looooooong time. Take a look!
In my former life as an educator of 24 years, one of my stints was teaching performing arts - to include writing and directing stage plays and choreographing dance moves for 162 students, 27 kids at a time. In my present life as Innkeeper, I love creating experiences for our guests. As my Ya-Ya friend Wendy says, "You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can't take the classroom out of the teacher!" and it was only a matter of time before Inn Life and Teacher Life collided.
At the Inn we'd already done Murder Mysteries, and our next one was scheduled by a group of long-time friends. Because running an Inn while coordinating a dinner theater wasn't enough to do, I had the genius idea of creating a cool dance video with the Murder Mystery guests as the stars. It would be so fun! And if I could reign in a bunch of middle school kids and put on a show, how much easier would it be to instruct a dozen adults, right?!
My plan was to rehearse the dance moves Friday night after our cocktail party welcome. They could think about and perfect their parts, then after our Murder Mystery fun and a delicious dinner with more cocktails on Saturday night, we would review the choreography and shoot the video. So good on paper. What is that they say about the best laid plans....?
Anyway, plan I did, and I loved these guys. They laughed, admired one another's costumes, had a few beverages, reminisced, and were just having a blast. You couldn't be around them and not have fun yourself. They talked excitedly about getting together, and the party, and shooting the video, and everything else.
I herded them into the dining room to take a seat where we would do our first segment.I used my best teacher voice to explain what we would be doing and they talked excitedly about getting together, and the party, and shooting the video, and everything else. It was just like middle school. So far so good.
I talked a little more loudly to get their attention and they talked a little more loudly, too. Somebody left to use the bathroom and someone else began playing with a pair of unicorn slippers. Still good. Still like middle school. I had this. One kid started throwing something. I went to stand next to him (a teacher trick meant to intimidate the perpetrator) and he left to get a beer. Hmmmm...
Although I was working with twelve professional and intelligent adults, I had forgotten to factor in the reality that 1.) they could legally drink, 2.) they didn't have to drive anywhere after they could legally drink, 3.) I could not send them to the principal's office or threaten detention, and 4.) I could not call their moms.
Friday evening's rehearsal hour was really pretty much like getting a roomful of cats to stand in a line after distributing catnip and feathers. Mostly it was the boy cats who had trouble following directions and many could not count to eight. The girl cats were way better. Not only could they count to eight, they were more intent on completely the tasks correctly. However, with the boys so enjoying the catnip, we never did get through the entire rehearsal and class was dismissed. The Saturday video shoot would be a disaster. What had I started?!
Well, let me tell you this: Saturday was an entirely different story. After going through our moves a couple of times, our videographer Alex Dagen recorded the action and Wendy edited the video. These guys were a-maz-ing. I was so proud of them - I know, so teacher-ish, but so true.
What do you think? Was this too much fun? Totally. I know - right now you're wishing you're wishing you were taking part in your own Murder Mystery Dinner party with your own group of friends. Maybe we could arrange that.