Hello! Remember how I said I was back last week? Well, that was wrong. See, I always do this. I assume that since the play is over, life will be back to normal. What I always forget is that I have two weeks worth of life built up that I have to go through and it takes a long time.
I have some pictures to post soon from the play. It really did turn out well and I was quite pleased. I'll post the photos as soon as I've heard back from all the parents from whom I am seeking permission to post.
Auditions for The Wizard of Oz are this week. Can I tell you a secret? I'm dreading them. I hate auditions so bad. I try not to let on too much to the kids, but auditions are painful for me. I'm not asking for sympathy, but I do want to get this off my chest.
See, only one kid can get each lead. That's just the way it is. I don't struggle with knowing who the lead should be. Auditions are rigorous enough that it is abundantly clear who is best suited for the roles.
What is difficult, and what I can't get over, is the fact that it hurts so badly to audition and not get the role you want. It's especially keen for the 8th graders, for whom this is their last shot in middle school.
Yes, I know. I know this is part of life, I know that we can't get everything we want. I know this is preparing them for the future. I know all this, I believe it, and I preach it to them and their parents.
Still, having been an actor, I know how keenly it stings when you don't get the part you are dying for. It hurts and I know that. So, it's painful for me to be the inflictor of that hurt.
That makes me sad. But there's something else that makes me sad. I'm disappointed every year by how some of the adults react to their child not getting the role they wanted. The kids get over it. Some of the parents don't and every year, there are people I thought were my friends who suddenly become very chilly and sometimes downright mean. That's disappointing. I have a fairly thick skin after 25 years of doing this, and my self-esteem isn't based on what people think of me. But it still makes me disappointed and sad. This year is complicated by the fact that my daughter is an 8th grader, so these kids are almost like my own children in terms of the fondness I feel for them.
Ultimately, of course, this is about the kids. I want to provide the best experience I can for them. Doing that means producing the best play that we can do. Which means casting it right and setting them up for success. It all boils down essentially to doing it for the kids, even when they are disappointed at the moment.
This week, I'll have my parents meeting and go over the expectations and put on a strict face and give the speech about dealing with disappointment. I'll do the same thing with the kids. I'll put on a good face. But Friday we'll have call-backs. That night, I'll toss and turn all night long and not really sleep at all. Saturday I'll post the cast list and shed some tears for the kids who didn't get what they wanted. I'll watch some of them handle their disappointment bravely and graciously--congratulating the person who did get the part. I'll be disappointed again at the way some people handle it.
And then, life will go on. In the end, it's all good and it's a part of life. I get that.
But gosh, it stings!
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