It's kind of a fun time in the theatre program. This week, over the course of several days, we had auditions. The next step in the process is call-backs. The audition is what gets them into the play. Call-backs is where I ask the kids to come back and read and/or sing material for a specific character, so this is how they are assigned a specific part.
Because I work in a middle school, I feel like a big part of my job is to teach the kids about the process of theatre. So, I tend to call many students back--more than I would if I taught in college or high school. Basically, I try to find a reason to call everyone back for at least one role. I figure that even if it doesn't work this time, then if they are familiar with the process and have learned some of the skills, then when they do have a more credible chance, they will do better since they have already done it a few times.
Plus, while disappointment is inevitable, I personally would rather know that I had a shot and that I was given every opportunity to earn something. Then, if it doesn't work out, I at least feel like I had a chance. I think the kids are the same.
At any rate, excitement is pretty high right now. I see it in their eyes, in their smiles, and in the overheard conversations. It's the excitement of possibility, the anticipation of potential opportunity--as of yet unfettered by the harsh realities of the future.
In that sense, this moment in the process is much like adolescence. They are just becoming aware of their potential and all that they can be. Their view of the future is informed largely by their hopes and dreams, a vision fueled by optimism and possibility. Currently, they are full of energy and dreams and aspirations--as of yet unfettered by the harsh realities of the future.
This is a sweet time. Of course, this can't last forever. The cast list will be posted tomorrow and the that unbridled optimism and sense of infinite possibilities will be moderated by reality. For most of the kids, simply because of numbers, that will involve some disappointment.
However, after that disappointment fades, they'll learn an even better lesson, one that can free and empower them for the rest of their lives in nearly any circumstance. But I'll talk about that later. For now, I want to relish the excitement and joy in their faces.
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