I have always loved theatre. Since I was a little girl. You don't have to tell me I infected my daughter with the bug, I know it. I didn't have a chance to play in a thetare but I worked in a summer production as a director's assistant, and I spent a couple of years studying theatre. I probably thought that's what I want to do life, but I had no guidance or persistance to follow up. I gave up before even trying. Then I spent my adulthood wondering, what if..
When Anna came along I didn't set out to create a little me. I just wanted her to love the theatre.
I took her to a show when she was about 4. She tought it was stupid. I think it was about the 3 little pigs. It was appropriate for her age, but she was 4 turning 14. She didn't get it at all. Pigs talking and singing. What's that all about?
It didn't stop me from taking her again and again. Local shows first, then in New York. I think she saw Beauty and the Beast when she was 6. ANd she still wasn't hooked. Who knows? If I had stopped at that moment she would have never started playing. She was iceskating at that time, so it didn't even came up. When iceskating became more than just wayyy too expensive, she decided to quit, instead of just doing a little bit, for fun. All or nothing, that's what she seems to be about. She was devastated first, even though it was her decision. There was definetly a void to be filled. And I still didn't push her to do anything.
The local JCC played the Secret Garden, a book she read a little while before and I think she also saw the movie. It was just the perfect timing. SHe was 8-ish, perhaps 9. The production was excellent. But most important, there was a little girl playing the role of Mary, who was about her age (later we learned she was a year older). Her voice was out of this world. It seemed impossible for this tiny thing on the stage to sing and play like she did.
I think this was a difining moment. Suddenly, she could see herself being up there and play.
The first thing she said after the show was that she wants to audition for the next one. As it happens, the next one was the Fiddler. It has some child roles, but she had no chance in hell. She was too young with no experience at all, and she couldn't sing. And I mean she really couldn't sing.
She wanted me to teach her "Tomorrow" from Annie for the audition. Are you kidding me? I don't sing or play the piano. I downloaded the music and the music sheet, and we tried...boy was it painful. I couldn't help her, she was frustrated with me and herself. But she went anyway, and I'm sure they smiled when they sent her on her way.
After that day she wouldn't stop singing at home, so I signed her up with a professional singing teacher, Marcy Manfredi, to improve her skills enough to audition with confidence. And she did. Fast. A couple of months later, when the JCC's kids theatre program had an audition for "Dear Edwina", she sang really well. They didn't make her read though which told me she will only get a a chorus role, but all she kept asking on the way home if I tought she will got "Edwina". What do you say? I said no. Do you keep them hoping? It's a topik I want to talk about an other time. Anyway, she has received 2 small roles: Aphrodite and Mary Sue Betty Bob. Both roles have a small song. Of course she was disappointed, she only had a couple of lines, but got excited to learn about the 2 solo songs.
Dear Edwina became her first show. And the first experience of success.