Jill Valentine is pretty sure the kids have a nickname for her: Fun Killer. For nearly four years, Ms. Valentine has been the head guardian of “School of Rock,” which played its last performance on Sunday at the Winter Garden Theater. Guardians care for child actors during rehearsals and before and after performances, making sure they’re fed, watered and rested. Ms. Valentine distributes children’s pain relievers, she runs science flashcards, she confiscates contraband.
She doesn’t have children of her own — “I have two cats and a boyfriend, that’s enough!” she said — but 63 have come into and out of her care since she joined “School of Rock” for pre-Broadway rehearsals in 2015. Thirteen children, age about 8 to 13, star in every performance, with four more waiting backstage. Thirty-six alumni joined them for Sunday’s show-closing jam session.
Before the Saturday evening performance, Ms. Valentine met me at the show’s rehearsal space, now mostly denuded and bubble wrapped. She talked about the responsibilities of the job, the hectic schedule and why there are no children showmances. Her feelings about the show’s ending were bittersweet, but not so bittersweet that she hadn’t booked a 5 a.m. Miami-bound flight for Monday. Here are edited excerpts from the conversation.
What exactly is a guardian?
It’s the responsible person for the child actor. We are responsible for their safety, health, well-being from the time that they walk into the stage door until the time they walk out.
I will be in two hours before the curtain goes up. Then we pick up the kids about an hour and 15 minutes before curtain. There are 17 of them. It’s a lot. They’ll go upstairs, drop their stuff, do a physical and vocal warm-up in our green room and then we are off to the races — hair calls, costumes, mic check, all that stuff.
Once the kids go downstairs for the show, we don’t have any breaks. They’re onstage all the time and we’re backstage. They go upstairs for intermission — quick snack, water break, bathroom break, game of cards. And then right back downstairs again until the end of the show.
What’s the popular snack these days?
Their tastes are not what you would think of as kid tastes. They like poke bowls. They’re into Maison Kayser. They don’t eat kid food. They’re like very short adults. But if there’s a birthday and we have birthday cake, everyone is in.
What do you do to bond with them?
If you ask them real questions about what their life is like and then follow up, they know that you care. We spend 40 hours a week together; that’s an incredible amount of time. They really do become like family.
How do you reassure the parents?
When we start rehearsal, I do a parent orientation. I have an eight-page packet that I send out. Like, so your child’s in a Broadway show, here’s what you need to know, a step-by-step guide. They have my cellphone number. I get texts, I get phone calls, I get emails.
What emergencies have you handled?
We’ve certainly had bloody noses, we’ve stood offstage with trash cans. We say, if you think you’re going to be sick, please walk off the stage, we will be there with a trash can for you. I have to ask the kids, do you need to stop? Can you finish the show? It has to be the actors’ choice.
Do you handle a lot of stage fright?
There’s usually a little bit of nervousness for the first or even the second show. We try really hard to encourage parents to maybe hold off on inviting everyone you’ve ever met to see your child perform for like a week.
Do you have ways of celebrating when someone leaves the show?
We do. We call it graduation. The audience gets to cheer and afterward we do a graduation ceremony, everybody sings “Pomp and Circumstance.” They get a little mortar board, they sign the back of the set, they get a little diploma.
Are they sad to leave?
Yeah, they are. And sometimes it’s really hard to watch them go. It’s also pretty great. We have a lot of alumni come back. They can come in and go to warm up and sit with the other kids. They’re all coming back tomorrow! So many of them! It’s going to be nuts.
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So Fun Killer, how do you kill the fun?
If we’re having a tough day I’m one who comes in and is like: “What are you, crazy? We’re doing a show. You cannot throw a football backstage. You just can’t.” I’ve definitely taken away a basketball, a skateboard.
Do you have a favorite group of kids?
I try very hard not to have favorites. Kids know and it doesn’t really suit what we’re trying to teach them, which is professionalism.
Have there been any kid showmances?
Not really. Our age group tends to be before that kicks in. Mostly boys and girls have cooties. Plus we have no time!
What’s the hardest part of the job?
I think the hardest thing is to be consistent. It doesn’t matter how tired I am. Or if it’s Sunday night of a five-show weekend and all I want to do is go home. Because when the stuff hits the fan [Ms. Valentine used a more colorful term], I need those kids to turn to me and to trust me.
Is it sad to leave the show?
A little. It’s my sixth Broadway show. I know what this is. I’m O.K. But in packing up the office, I’m going through paperwork and old schedules, drawings the kids have made. Which is like, Oh, right. Remember that? We’ve done so much! If anything, my overwhelming feeling is not sorrow, but pride.B:
红姐一馆小说【餐】【后】，【温】【茹】【拉】【着】【宋】【和】【的】【手】【坐】【在】【沙】【发】【上】【聊】【天】，【面】【前】【的】【茶】【几】【上】【摆】【着】【几】【样】【水】【果】。 【弥】【猴】【桃】、【提】【子】、【苹】【果】【和】【橙】【子】。 【淡】【淡】【的】【水】【果】【的】【自】【然】【香】【在】【宋】【和】【的】【鼻】【息】【间】【缭】【绕】。 【都】【说】【女】【儿】【是】【自】【己】【的】【小】【棉】【袄】，【这】【话】【一】【点】【都】【不】【假】，【温】【茹】【拉】【着】【宋】【和】【说】【话】【的】【时】【候】，【那】【感】【觉】【与】【跟】【自】【己】【的】【儿】【子】【说】【话】【完】【全】【不】【一】【样】【啊】。 【小】【女】【孩】【温】【温】【柔】【柔】【的】，【说】【话】【的】【声】【音】
【可】【是】【那】【个】【孩】【子】【连】【思】【考】【都】【没】【有】【直】【接】【很】【有】【底】【气】【的】【回】【答】，“【有】，【我】【觉】【得】【我】【自】【己】【一】【定】【可】【以】【实】【现】【这】【个】【目】【标】！”【话】【说】【得】【掷】【地】【有】【声】，【苏】【轻】【舞】【再】【次】【表】【示】【了】【自】【己】【的】【连】【绵】【不】【绝】【的】【佩】【服】【之】【情】。 “【那】【么】，【我】【再】【问】【你】【第】【二】【个】【问】【题】，【你】【愿】【意】【为】【了】【你】【自】【己】【的】【目】【标】【付】【出】【多】【少】【呢】?” “【我】【愿】【意】【为】【了】【他】【付】【出】【我】【可】【以】【付】【出】【的】【一】【切】。“【依】【旧】【是】【秒】【答】，【丝】【毫】【没】【有】
【车】【子】【在】【荒】【地】【里】【转】【了】【个】【弯】【重】【新】【回】【到】【马】【路】【上】，【向】【着】【省】【城】【继】【续】【出】【发】。 【对】【于】【这】【几】【个】【劫】【财】【的】【小】【混】【混】，【虽】【然】【他】【们】【是】【从】【市】【里】【上】【的】【车】，【但】【返】【回】【去】【的】【话】【太】【耽】【搁】【时】【间】【了】，【所】【以】【大】【家】【一】【致】【决】【定】【送】【到】【省】【城】【的】***【去】。 【一】【路】【上】【车】【里】【的】【气】【氛】【挺】【不】【错】【的】，【大】【家】【互】【相】【交】【谈】【着】，【那】【位】【姑】【娘】【告】【诉】【凌】【月】【她】【叫】【红】【鸾】，【家】【住】【省】【城】，【这】【次】【是】【和】【爷】【爷】【一】【起】【回】【县】【城】【探】
……【罗】【艺】【龙】【母】【亲】【就】【直】【直】【的】【坐】【立】【了】【起】【来】，【惊】【悚】【得】【田】【珩】【媛】【抱】【紧】【罗】【艺】【龙】【父】【亲】。 “【我】【妈】【听】【见】【你】【内】【心】【埋】【葬】【的】【爱】【了】，【所】【以】【她】【活】【过】【来】【了】，【至】【于】【把】【你】【恐】【怖】【成】【这】【样】？” 【罗】【艺】【龙】【冷】【笑】【着】，【似】【乎】【准】【备】【询】【问】【田】【珩】【媛】【有】【关】“【天】【国】【之】【人】”【的】【事】。 【但】【田】【珩】【媛】【却】【猛】【然】【拽】【紧】【罗】【艺】【龙】【宽】【厚】【的】【手】【臂】，【一】【个】【劲】【儿】【的】【摇】【来】【晃】【去】。 “【龙】【龙】，【我】【想】【了】【好】【久】，红姐一馆小说【好】【半】【晌】，【她】【抬】【手】【抚】【上】【他】【的】【面】【颊】，【自】【嘲】【笑】【道】：“【日】【有】【所】【思】【夜】【有】【所】【梦】，【我】【竟】【是】【魔】【怔】【了】。” 【萧】【廷】【琛】【面】【色】【幽】【深】。 【他】【紧】【紧】【盯】【着】【苏】【酒】，【少】【女】【眼】【眸】【含】【情】，【俨】【然】【是】【相】【思】【模】【样】。 【原】【来】【离】【别】【以】【来】，【并】【非】【只】【有】【他】【在】【挂】【念】【她】，【她】【亦】【是】【想】【念】【他】【的】…… 【还】【未】【说】【话】，【苏】【酒】【抬】【手】【勾】【上】【他】【的】【脖】【颈】，【主】【动】【凑】【到】【他】【面】【前】，【樱】【唇】【轻】【轻】【落】【在】【他】【的】【唇】【上】，
“【哈】【哈】【哈】！【果】【然】【来】【了】！”【赵】【楷】【兴】【奋】【地】【大】【笑】【着】【说】【道】。 “【恭】【喜】【三】【皇】【子】！【运】【筹】【帷】【幄】，【得】【报】【大】【仇】。”【两】【个】【手】【下】【立】【即】【恭】【维】【地】【说】【道】。 “【为】【何】【三】【皇】【子】【定】【要】【将】【那】【周】【南】【引】【至】【艮】【岳】【才】【肯】【动】【手】【啊】？”【其】【中】【杀】【害】【内】【侍】【黄】【小】【四】【的】【男】【子】【问】【道】。 “【你】【懂】【什】【么】？！【那】【姓】【周】【的】【岂】【是】【常】【人】？【若】【非】【如】【此】【安】【排】，【又】【怎】【能】【有】【机】【会】【动】【手】【除】【掉】【他】？！”【赵】【楷】【脸】【色】
“【生】【气】【了】？”【慕】【铭】【冬】【吐】【吐】【舌】【头】，“【不】【就】【是】【见】【你】【不】【乖】【打】【了】【你】【几】【下】【吗】？【你】【至】【于】【这】【么】【生】【气】【吗】？【有】【点】【男】【人】【的】【大】【度】【行】【不】【行】？” “【那】【你】【给】【我】【打】【两】【下】【试】【试】？”【佟】【俊】【彦】【头】【一】【抬】，【满】【脸】【怨】【愤】【的】【问】。 【刚】【才】【不】【是】【已】【经】【给】【他】【打】【了】【一】【下】【吗】？【而】【且】【下】【手】【还】【真】【重】。【刚】【才】【她】【打】【他】【的】【时】【候】，【也】【根】【本】【没】【有】【用】【多】【大】【力】，【只】【是】【故】【意】【把】【声】【音】【弄】【响】【了】【点】【好】【不】【好】？【撇】