When I drove my daughter to rehearsals every day last week, I was struck with a different memory each day. You can check out my blog from yesterday to get caught up, but I’ll share some more fun ones today!
When my oldest was selected to be a munchkin for the Sound of Music, I dreaded creating her costume. I’m not a seamstress (as you can tell from yesterday!) and I fretted and worried where we would come up with her colorful costume. I called a bridal shop and they were happy to sell me a garbage bag full of old bridesmaid dresses for a reasonable price. These dresses were adult dresses in large sizes and my daughter was in elementary school and very small. How would I ever cut the dress down to size and have it look right? As I stood looking at my daughter in this huge dress and complained to my husband, he simply grabbed fist fulls of material in the back, got out a pair of scissors and cut straight down the middle of the back of the dress. While my daughter stood there, he stitched the dress up with her in it and told me that this was a costume and that no one would see the craftsmanship of the sewing from the audience. This valuable lesson carried me through many shows and that costume was worn as a Halloween costume on more than one occasion and also got to appear in a different production of The Wizard of Oz!
Being cast as a lead as a freshman was a huge honor for my daughter. I had never heard of All Shook Up so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Her grandparents were in Florida and I asked the director if I thought I should fly them home to see this show. She gave my daughter rave reviews and thought that Mimi and Papa would hate to miss it. Not wanting them to have to miss too much of their already scheduled vacation, we made arrangments for them to fly home, spend two nights here and then return to the sunshine. A whirlwind trip. It looked so good on paper, but then a huge winter storm hit. They returned home, but the roads were so bad, we weren’t even sure that “the show would go on!” Thankfully it did go on after an hour delay (to make sure that all the cast arrived) and though inconvenient and extremely stressful the performance was definitely worth it. (There is even a story about the flight cancellations and rerouting that my mother in law could share that involved her running through the airport without her shoes on because she was so rushed to catch her flight, but that is her story to share!)
Show week always involves a very demanding schedule. There is school, homework, rehearsals and rush, rush, rush! Always running late to get to the dressing room for makeup and warm ups. Always a blur but usually successful in the end. One night as we raced as a family to get the chores done, dinner on, homework completed, costumes ready, etc, I sent Paul to check on the chickens while I cleaned the kitchen. The chickens were fed, our bags were gathered and we headed out. As we entered the school and were walking down the hall, Paul pulled an egg out of his pocket! An egg?! He said, “I forgot to leave this at home!” What are we going to do with an egg as we had tickets to watch the show? I told him to take it out to the car which he did and we took our seats in the audience. After the show, we gathered our actor and headed out. Paul called out, “don’t forget about the egg.” I didn’t forget about the egg, I unlocked the car door and took my seat behind the wheel. The minute I sat, I knew where he had left the egg before the show….on the driver’s seat of the car! He reminded me of the egg, but I just didn’t think he would put it on my seat! Never a dull moment in this family!
I needed to schedule shoulder surgery one spring during “show season.” I was concerned about my recovery because I didn’t want to miss any of my daughter’s involvement in this show. I asked the doctor if he thought I would be recovered by opening night which was a week away and he said, “Seriously? You’re not IN the show, are you?” I said that I wasn’t in it, but that I wanted to attend. He assured me that I would be well enough to attend. I don’t think he understood how important a mom is to a high school actress on show week. I’m sure he didn’t know that I would be an important part of her performance. Moms set the tone for the family and we are sometimes in charge of hair, costumes, makeup, and rides, but we are also integral in handling jitters, frustrations, lost props, criticisms and all the other drama that the Drama Club entails. Only a Stage Mom would understand for sure!