Adventures, Mother Of A Theater Kid

We Are Here! We Are Here!

Parade Buddies
From yesterday’s bonnet parade at NikkiZ’s school.

I read something interesting this week: Anxiety is rooted in FEAR. Maybe this is common sense but I had never thought about it that way before. That many times, my anxiety (especially in social situations) is truly just a manifestation of the fear I feel of failing in that situation. Today? I face BIG fears as I go be a part of the FIRST full dress rehearsal for Seussical at my son’s high school. This is a BIG DAY. I’m on the makeup crew and have just learned the very basics about stage makeup. (LilZ let me practice on him last night…how cool is he?) Today I learn some of the big jobs (hopefully) and help apply stage makeup to a dozens of high school kids. Fears I’ll be facing:

Fear of Failing: What if I’m the worst makeup applier in the history of theater? And they FIRE me? Can a volunteer be fired?

Fear of High School Kids: Yes, I have one. He’s awesome. Yes, his friends are awesome. Yet I still fear them IN GENERAL. Because I’ve been scared of them since I was in 8th grade. Hard to get past fear that ingrained.

Fear of Social Situations: Many, many adults will be part of this day. I’m getting SO much better in this crowd but I still freeze up and blunder and panic and inevitably say something really dumb. It happens every time.

Fear of Makeup: SERIOUSLY. I don’t even wear it regularly, when I do wear it I don’t really know how to put it on. Yet somehow I’m now on the makeup crew? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

But mixed in with all of the fear is the excitement of being part of something SO AWESOME. Seriously. I wish I could let you all see this production. I have no idea if this is a typical high school production or not, my high school only had 56 people in it’s senior class, so this is foreign to me. But the set? The costumes? The dance numbers? The voices? It’s amazing. I can’t believe the talent in these kids and in the teachers/parents helping. It really is something I’m so proud to be a part of.

There’s a song at the end of the show where Horton is being convicted of being insane for hearing voices in a dust speck. While the “court” is deciding they’re going to boil the dust speck, Horton starts BEGGING the Whos to shout together, demanding that they let their voices be heard so they won’t be boiled. The people in the courtroom are singing “Boil it! Boil it!” while the Whos are singing “We Are Here! We Are Here!” and it’s just the fantastic scene that is so full of energy and emotion and such a perfect end to an amazing show full of amazing people. Every time I hear them sing it…Hell, even when I hear it on the cast recording on my iPod…I cry. I cry EVERY TIME. Because I’m just so proud of these kids who have NO idea who I am. I’m proud of my kid for being part of it all. I’m proud of myself (hopefully) for helping backstage. Everyone in that room is conquering some sort of fear (forgetting lines, missing notes, falling down a HUGE set) yet they show up and perform these amazing musical numbers. And they do it WELL.

So, conquering my fear of makeup? Come on. Way easier than having to dance on a 6ft high platform adorned with Truffula trees. Ask my son. Who will be doing just that. AND who will also be doing one dance number blind as he’ll be inside what is essentially a giant black pillowcase. While he’s blind he’ll have to work with other dancers (who will also be blind in the same type of getup) to pick up JoJo – the lead in the show. Yes. LilZ thinks I should shut up already about my fears because if I screw up? Someone washes their face and starts over with a crew member who knows what they’re doing. If HE screws up…”People DIE.”

Good point. I’ll shut up now.

10 thoughts on “We Are Here! We Are Here!”

  1. I definitely recognize myself in some of your anxieties — the social one, especially. But it always works out for the best, even if we do wind up saying something dumb, right? Most other people don’t even notice, and we’re the only ones who think about it.

    You’ll do great! This play sounds awesome. Good luck to you and LilZ!

  2. “Fear of High School Kids: “

    I’m so with you on this one. I’m well into my thirties — easily old enough to parent a high-schooler — and I still tense up around them.

  3. I did stage crew in high school and we had 2 teacher advisers but did the rest of the stuff ourselves. No parent volunteers or anything of that sort. But then again, my high school had about 400 students total. And our plays and musicals were far from great.
    I’m excited for Lilz! And good luck to you! I’m sure you’ll do great.

  4. The energy of any kind of live performance (but especially plays and musicals) gives me chills, and reading the paragraph about the Whos singing, “We are here!” made me tear up a little, and I’ve never seen the production!

    Think of the makeup as paint. It sounds like fun.

    Break a leg!

  5. My niece has been in several plays at her high school and I make sure to go to every one. It’s so much fun! I’m the same way… so proud of all those kids who have no clue who I am. I video each play and take pics of every kid so my niece will have plenty of evidence of just how awesome they all were. Have fun!!!

  6. If He drops Jojo, it will just be another of WB’s nine lives that he’s used this show….Set pieces falling on his head, being dumped from a moving chair…..dropped by a black body bag? Thats Nothin’……Now your fears about makeup? Those are well founded…..although this is a good show to start with because they are Seuss characters, and they need to look different! You did great yesterday! Thanks for helping with the cast!

  7. I thought I commented yesterday, but it didn’t take. Maybe a problem with the website I used (the actual url for my Prevention blog, which is really long).

Leave a Reply Cancel reply