Mother Of A Theater Kid

And So It Begins…(Again)

Anyone of you around this area (As in…my blog, not North Alabama) last Spring probably remembers a little musical that took over our lives called Seussical. Although E spent his entire freshman year exploring the world of Theatre, the last few weeks before that musical was my baptism by fire. I found myself doing things I never knew I could do: Painting sets, pinning costumes, and doing makeup. I learned new vocabulary and terminology. (Note: A “costume parade” is not an actual parade of kids in their costumes around the school. If you tell your drama kid child you thought that’s what it was, he will laugh at you and the idea of having a parade in high school. A “costume parade” is simply when the characters line up on stage in their costumes and the costumer and director make final touches/adjustments.) E’s hobby, which he explored and developed without any help from any of us, basically changed my life. I made new friends and had a world full of experiences I’ll never forget.

Late last year I was invited to join the board for the theatre parents association for the high school. I was so excited I screamed a little. These parents do not mess around. As anyone in the drama department will tell you – the productions couldn’t happen without the parents. The theatre program gets no extra money or even staff – it’s basically run by parents, students, and the few theatre teachers who work gobs of overtime for no extra pay. To be invited to join that team? Was an honor.

THEN…this week I got an email from the woman I have watched basically run everything during Seussical. She was one of the producers of that musical and she was the president of the theatre parents association last year. This year, her daughter is a senior so she’s winding down her obligations. She sent me an email…asking me to shadow her during this year’s musical so I can take over as producer next year.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

Next year I’ll be a producer for the spring musical for my son’s high school. E’s hobby, which I’ve watched him thrive at, has totally given me my own world to be proud of. I don’t have to be proud of only him anymore, I get to be proud of us. This is officially our thing now. And if you have a teenager? You know how hard those unifying things are to come by. As your child gets older, you just don’t do stuff together anymore. No matter how close you are. But this? He was almost (ALMOST) as excited as I was. Next year, the year he’ll need me NOT AT ALL as he’ll be able to drive, that will be the year we do this as a team. And I can’t wait.

Headshot for Beauty and the Beast AuditionsAnd that? That brings me to the point of this entry. Today? Are the auditions for this year’s musical: Beauty and the Beast. This is the headshot E has attached to his audition papers. The papers I’ll be collecting as a volunteer parent along with other volunteer parents who I now call friends. I didn’t sleep well last night I was so nervous, and I am positive he didn’t either. We’ll find out first thing tomorrow if he made it for call-backs (which I’m sure he will!) and then we’ll find out first thing Monday if he got cast. Everyone keeps asking him what he’s auditioning for and he says, “I’ll take anything.” And he means that. He loved being part of the ensemble last year and if that’s where he gets put again this year? He’ll be 100% fine with that.

So…I tell him and all of the other amazing kids…to break a leg. That was the hardest thing last year, getting myself out of the habit of saying, “Good L&ck” to these kids. (I’m not sure if the superstition that it’s bad luck extends to random parent’s blogs in type, so I’m covering my bases as to not ruin E’s audition.) BREAK A LEG. BREAK A LEG. BREAK A LEG. Rule #1 of being a theatre parent – Don’t wish anyone good l&ck! I did accidentally several times last spring and no one said anything, but I could tell they all wanted to. Damn newbie.

BUT NO MORE. Now I can’t even tell MrZ good l&ck for his triathlons because I’m worried I’ll jinx him. I don’t say, “Break a leg,” either though – that just seems cruel. I just smile and mumble something indecipherable. Because that’s supportive.

Anyway…auditions. Today. Break a leg, E. I know you’ll do great.

29 thoughts on “And So It Begins…(Again)”

  1. BREAK A LEG, E!!!!! Is it strange that I’m maybe a little nervous for him???! I mean I’ve been reading this blog for 5 years now and gosh he’s SUCH an amazing kid I really hope this works out for him! Fingers/toes/arms/legs crossed for him! [I sooo remember when I auditioned for South Pacific…12 years ago now??…and I was so freakin scared. I sang a duet from Miss Saigon with my theatre teacher and I almost cried from relief when it was over. But I got the part! And so will E!! We totally didn’t have head shots though – I’m jealous…]

  2. Break a leg E!
    How exciting and I know exactly what you mean about finding something to share with your teenager. For my husband,it’s easy- they have sports. They go to the gym together, and train because my son wants to beat his dad’s high school track records. For Connor and I it’s music. We share our love of music and go to concerts together (this old lady even survived a very pushy crowded pit at the Green Day concert and Warped Tour!) and we go to NYC to see American Idiot on Broadway every few weeks because its our thing…we love it to death. Some of Connor’s friends are auditioning for his high school musical and although he doesn’t want to be in it, he is considering joining the stage crew.

    You will make such an awesome producer!

  3. Break a leg, E! And oh my gosh, I am so excited to hear about your producer apprenticeship! That is going to be so great for both of you.

  4. I quintuple that break a leg, and extend it to the other GHS kids I know who are auditioning today. Can’t wait to hear the results!!

  5. Yay, this is so wonderful! I’m sure E will do well (Rock it kid!). Zoot, that is so great you have something with E like this. I was a figure skater and my dad ended up managing the team’s finances. My mom, not interested at all. Not sure at the time that I even noticed that she wasn’t really interested in anything other than cheering me on. But I certainly noticed other kids’ parents who were super involved. Good for you both!

  6. Wow, E’s high school sounds wonderful! He has audition papers? With a head shot attached?! I would have LOVED to be in something like that. I did all our musicals when I was in high school, and though it was amazing and I had to audition and everything, it wasn’t at all like that. So, BREAK A LEG, E! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  7. awesome for both of you. i know you will rise to the occasion, as always.

    (great headshot of E. I’m hoping he majors in drama in college so i can live vicariously through him 😉

  8. How exciting. Break a Leg E! Break a Leg to you too ! My son is a flautist. We always told him to Rip a Lip when he was in high school. I also got involved with Seattle Young Artists because of him. It was a great experience to help out with something that was important to him. I met a lot of wonderful people.

    My son is now a professional musician. Last spring he performed a concerto that was written for him. He’s now 33 and I told him to Rip a Lip before his performance!

  9. I think I’ve mentioned before, and will probably mention again and again, how much I loved doing theater in high school. I got no major parts; I was usually in the chorus (can’t sing!) or in teensy minor parts or even backstage. But I loved it and the friends I made doing it. And the lessons I learned there (project to the back! The show must go on! No one will know you messed up if you keep going!) payoff daily even now.

    My kids are 2 and 7 months. So I’ll just live vicariously through yours for a bit.

    Break a leg, LilZ. And remember the fourth wall.

  10. wow lilz is growing up to be a great kid_and U as well~^^thanks for sharing that with us! ^^ could feel how proud u r ^^

  11. I loved being involved in shows when my kids did children’s theatre. Not only did we do something together, it led to a whole new world for me. I volunteered to help sew costumes and that gradually morphed into a career as a costume designer, first in theatre and now in film.

    That’s a great photo of E. What a handsome young guy. Break a leg, both of you!

  12. Break a leg, E! My son is also very involved in drama, and last year his school did Beauty and the Beast and it was amazing! And how lucky for you to be as involved as you are and so exciting to be the producer next year!

  13. Break a leg to E!

    And actually, you don’t have to feel weird about saying that anymore — it’s not talking about HIS leg. The curtains on the sides of the stage that block off the wings from view are called legs, and apparently the phrase stems from people encouraging the actors to do such a great job that the audience’s thunderous applause would cause the legs to fall down.

    Random theatre trivia you never wanted to know!

    (I also recently learned that you don’t say “break a leg” to dancers, you say “merde” — which is French for “shit”. I have no idea what the story behind that one is.)

  14. He’s soooo cute. He looks like Robby Benson, which can only mean he should play the Beast. But ensemble would be fun also. Theatre’s fun any way you look at it.

  15. Head shots – good god that’s serious!

    Just don’t tell the dancers to break a leg. We never took it well.

    “Knock ’em dead!”

  16. He’d make a wonderful “beast” just because he has all that glorious hair hehe. Break a leg, E! I honestly wish I could come see the show – it sounds like a blast, and of course I love that story (as long as I don’t allow myself to think about it in terms of feminism and of abusive relationships, because yeeeah that’s no fun.) And Donnie? Well, have fun with that whole run thing, even though I do not understand in the LEAST. 😛

  17. Break a Leg E!!!

    My teenager is also involved in theater at her high school. She has been in all of the musical up until this year when she is (finally) taking the actual Theater Rep class. We are EXTREMELY luck to have a huge and thriving theater program and I love all of it. It is such a thrill to see these kids work so hard and then put on a fantastic show. I am also very lucky to have something that I share with my teenager (singing) and yes, that is a very special thing. Hugs to you both!!!

  18. Oh, this is so exciting – all of it! Break a leg, you two. The old theatre nerd is me is cheering you on from Chicago!

  19. I am so excited for both of you! Whenever I see theater shows the main sense I get it that it looks like so much fun to be part of that group, and now you get to share that!

  20. Break a leg… both of you! What an exciting thing for a mom and son. I loved theater as a kid… You have an amazing son there, and he has an amazing mom!

  21. Oh mi gawd I am reading your blog backwards and just choked a little reading this post while eating lunch. That great news! Fantastic! Well done you.

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