You'll win an Oscar one day
My mother-in-law has instilled a great love of the theater in my girls. Every time one of our community theaters puts on a child-friendly production, she makes sure they are in the audience. At the beginning of this summer, the girls watched one of their best friends perform on the stage. It was like a firework went off in their hearts- connecting people they love with an art they enjoy!
First, a little backstory. My oldest, Carly Deane, has always sworn she would never want to speak on the stage, despite Nana’s best intentions. She did a production through her elementary school in first grade. It wasn’t the best experience for her, but that is a topic for another day! Recently, at a bible study graduation, she was described as quiet, shy, and gentle. Ha! As her mom, I know quite the different side! But, she is in a place of complete comfort at home, and I know I get to see special sides of her that not everybody does. I’ve always said that Carly Deane has quite the flare for the dramatic. “You’ll win an Oscar one day” is a common saying from me to her when she crazily overreacts to stuff at home!
My middle, Charlotte, is quite the different story. She is outgoing, giddy, loud, and lots of crazy fun! There are no secrets with her! What you see at school or at sleepovers is exactly who she is all the time! She has written stories about performing, dancing, singing, playing instruments...you name it! In kindergarten, her classroom wrote a book and had it published about what they each would be when they grow up. Charlotte’s is the first page, no doubt! She is a singer. She has drawn herself on stage with an audience cheering along! She could not wait for a show to become available for her to audition in our local theater. She was devastated the last Spring when the minimum age was a bit older than her and she couldn’t audition.
Back to this summer. They saw one of their best friend’s, Claire, perform in her show. We were finding out about audition dates at intermission because they were SO pumped to participate. This particular local theater is really wonderful. They have a website where they put everything you need online for the audition: breakdown of roles, scripts to practice, music for the characters, etc. My girls watched the show on youtube, practiced with a local friend that grew up on the stage, and were beyond ready to audition.
The auditions are closed, meaning, no parents allowed. Bummer! Jennifer and I sat out in the waiting room while they performed their little hearts out. Ok, ok, I’m not even going to lie; we peeked in the door a bit to catch a glimpse of them on stage! All three of them: Claire, Carly Deane, and Charlotte had great auditions. We left and I have NEVER seen my girls on such a high before. They were really jazzed about how they did. Carly Deane even said, “Mom, I NAILED it!” Haha!
A few days passed, and Jennifer and I looked to see what roles they were given. Honestly, I fully expected my girls to be a part of general ensemble, as this was their first audition with this theater. We scroll down and see Claire’s name first! Yay! She had a special role and was part of the ensemble. We kept scrolling, and Jennifer said “Something must be wrong! Their names are not on the cast list.” To our disappointment, Carly Deane and Charlotte were not given a role.
It was a weird sensation for me as a mom. I remembered how excited they were at the audition and how they had been looking forward to the production for so long. I knew how disappointed they would be. My heart hurt for them to experience this let down. But, God came over me with an overwhelming peace. Lately, He has been telling me to cut back, stop with the busyness, and have family time as more of my priority. He simply said no to this musical and I knew why. He had been telling me for months! Committing to a musical is crazy busy for a couple of months. There are multiple practices each week and weekend, not to mention all the time practicing at home. So, I listened, had complete peace, and prepared to share the news with my girls.
Still, even knowing it was the best thing for our family, I was nervous to share the news with the girls. When I told each of them, I saw the disappointment. I began with Charlotte, “Unfortunately, you were not given a part in the show. I want you to know how proud I am of you and your hard work. I know you were so proud of yourselves for getting up there and doing your best.” Jennifer piped in, “Yes! Charlotte, I watched in on your audition. You did a great job. Claire even messed up in hers. It had to be because they selected children they already knew.” Claire was sitting right there beside Charlotte. She was precious and comforted her friend while rejoicing in her own excitement! To my surprise, Charlotte was not as bummed as I thought she would be. She understood and was already asking about the next audition.
Next was Carly Deane. I was more nervous to tell her because I knew it was a big hurdle for her to get up there and put herself out there in a way that was outside of her comfort zone. She ran up to me, “Mom, do you know about the play, yet? Did I get a part? Am I the mom? Jane?” I replied and told her the news. I was stunned when she was much less concerned about herself and the outcome and immediately asked about Claire. “What about Claire? Did she get a role? I know how important it is to her!” She was thrilled to learn about Claire’s part and was already planning the celebration in going to watch the performance!
This last weekend, Claire performed in her show. My girls were there and so excited to cheer her on. As women, we should lift each other up! Celebrate when our peers get the promotion, buys the house, has a baby, meets their life partner. etc! Jealousy can destroy what would be a beautiful friendship if we celebrated more of the victories around us, rather than drowning in pity for the part we weren’t cast. Furthermore, I ask you to look at the season of life you are in. Is there a reason God said no? Maybe he is calling you to simplify or cut back. Sometimes less really is more! At least, that’s the way I see it.