Dipsy Doodle’s Flower Pot Shop

Well, it finally happened. Something I did on paper actually came to life. Real live bouncing pink coiffed life. Heh. I posted earlier about a weird little idea that I had regarding a show for our school cable channel. ‘Dipsy Doodle’s Flower Pot Shop…a place where seeds of learning are planted.’ The theme song was written by a first grade teacher in my building and recorded by her students. Another Kindergarten Teacher friend read a story aloud on camera…which was also pre-recorded. Last weekend my husband built a store counter for the set…..in my kitchen because of a snow storm. I had to remake the costume because – much to every one’s surprise – dark purple with black flowers and silver threads does not show up on a blue screen. My daughter looked like a floating head as she was modeling it. (Hey, I am just glad that we tried it out a week early!) The plan was to start shooting on a Thursday afternoon and do as much as we could. If we needed Friday, the place was available. So, I arrived at the high school television studio two hours early with the counter, a huge collection of plastic flowers, one three foot live plant, baskets, watering can, kiddie cash register, gloves and everything else we needed for three episodes. My three producers helped set up the set. We played around with the background to get it perfectly aligned. We arranged and rearranged plastic flowers. Tried tape….and finally drove in screws to use flowers to hide imperfectiosn here and a latch or two there. The girl who had agreed to play Dipsy arrived shortly after. She had spent the weekend in Las Vegas with her best friend’s family and had had no sleep the night before as she was doing ‘catch up homework’ all night. (I am in awe of teenagers. How DO they do it?) The elderly friend playing ‘Farmer Bob’ brought along his wife. High school students were in and out. Farmer Bob’s daughter – a Teacher at the high school – popped in to see what was happening. We rehearsed and re-rehearsed, tried camera angles, moved set pieces, rehearsed again and finally began shooting at 1:45. We shot, reshot, rearranged, rewrote and rehearsed again. By 3:15 we knew we would need to finish. Everyone had places to be after 4 pm. It had been a long, tedious process for a short kids’ show. Finally we were done with one episode. Dipsy had split to her afternoon job. Farmer and Mrs. Bob were gone. We tore down the set and packed it all back in the bag I’d brought. I loaded my car and left to pick my children up at their after school play rehearsal. Exhausted and entirely exhilarated. Weirdly let down. I have been working on this for three months. Chasing down copy right permissions, conscripting help from friends, writing and rewriting, searching web sites for costume pieces, worrying, bouncing ideas off of anyone who hadn’t lost patience to listen…again. Now I will wait for the editing process to take place. I was assured that I would be part of the thinking process for another episode. In the mean time, Dipsy Doodle is no longer just a figment of my imagination. And that’s pretty amazing.

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