So tonight I have to give flowers to the conductor at the end of the concert. Simple enough I hear you say and so I thought when I first volunteered to be a flower girl some years ago. But, people don't know how stressful being a flower girl is! It is sometimes more worrying than playing in the concert itself! The main thing that you have to worry about is, DON'T FORGET! Many a time have I seen the flower girl looking absently out at the audience at the end of a concert only to be poked out of her reverie (by a violin bow or flute) to go racing off stage and bolting round to the other side just getting there in time (maybe now a little sweaty!) to have over the flowers.
Rule no. two; to kiss or not to kiss. Well, if they are good looking of course! But, us flower girls have been told "Don't go in for a kiss unless they do!". That is often a hard one to judge and if they do kiss, one or two. Or even three as I found out from one Russian conductor. I gave him two only to have him hold my shoulders as I pulled away and he said "In Russia we give three!" and he planted another one on my cheek. It doesn't help when you can hear the rest of the orchestra is making exaggerated kissing noises for each and every kiss! (mwah mwah mwah)
Rule no. three; what to say. I stick with the standards of "thankyou" or "congratulations" but it is very easy to become tongue tied or forget to even speak.
Rule no. four; smile! No one likes a grumpy flower girl.
Rule no. five; Don't fall over as you walk out on stage! Not a good look.
Rule no. six; make sure that you look good ie., no lipstick on your teeth, pop a mint before hand, make sure that your skirt is not tucked into your knickers, and for the male flower givers, that your fly is done up!
Rule no. seven; make sure that you leave and enter the stage on time. I mentioned forgetfulness before but it can also be tricky to leave. Sometimes the door won't open easily. You don't really want to run to the other side and be all sweaty and puffed (or sound like an elephant clumping around backstage!). At the other end you trust the stage manager to send you out at the right time. Sometimes this is not the case and you are left stranded on stage smiling until the correct moment which could take some minutes.
So as you can see, the job of being the perfect flower girl is quite a stressful one. But someone has to do it.