Sunday, January 20, 2013

Working the Craft

We're two weeks into the new school term.  We live by the Jewish and school calendars, which conveniently coincide, so midterm is a big deal. It always takes two weeks to get back on schedule.  We're back to karate/kickboxing for Gavi, Keren, and me; back to karate and band for Jesse (on different nights of course), and Sean's meeting schedule is picking back up after a short mid-term lull.

With the start of the secular new year our schedule always changes.  Keren adds Purim rehearsal to the schedule.  She's been in the Beth Tzedec Purim play every year since she was 3.  She took one year off for Jesse's bar mitzvah, which was on Purim.  We attended the show that year.  In the show there was a kiddie parade, and Keren joined.  She's even in the video, so although she skipped most of the performances, she managed to still be a part of the play and get into the video, so we're still counting it.

Recently Keren announced she wants to play Cosette in Les Miserables.  She has a very limited time to do it.  She'll soon be too old to play Cosette as a child, but not old enough to play the other roles.  Sean's contacted a casting agent.  If there's a way to an audition he'll find it.  If anyone out there can help let us know.  I may be her mother, but I've been involved in theater (some very amateur, some professional) since I was 14, and  with all modesty, she's good.  I don't think Keren wants a career in theater, but who knows.  There's a lot of time to decide.

In the future, when children are older, maybe out of the house, maybe high school, I look forward to getting back into theater.  I've done it all.  I've been on stage.  I've directed.  I've done costuming and makeup and sets.  I've helped design and run the lighting.  I've done sound for concerts and musicals.  I understand the backstage mentality.

Funny things happen backstage.  There's a different sense of privacy.  Everyone goes about his/her business, changing costumes when and where necessary.  Mike wires need to pass under costumes.  Battery packs need to be hooked onto clothes in unobtrusive places.  Since I've stopped performing onstage, I've been at the mike table.  I'm there with Keren since she's too young to go by herself.  I do what I needs to be done.  This intimacy leads to a closeness.  The cast that stays from year to year is like a family.  We've shared simchas and tragedies.  We've celebrated and mourned.

There are kids that have grown up in the show.  They have trained in all areas, and become really professional in their attitudes.  It's amazing to watch.  We have the full video collection, and can watch our daughter's and other's development through the years.  They have grown, and with them their talent, poise, and presence.  Last year we lost one to tragedy.  I, and I know others, cannot watch the videos without a sadness.  It has introduced the kids to an aspect of life they might have otherwise not known for many years.  However, the support of the cast also bolstered and protected them.  Life has tragedies, but through this group Keren also learned about community in a special way.

This entry is a bit stream of consciousness.  Life is like that.  But when you can direct that stream into creative outlets, whether art, acting, music, or anything else that provides you fulfillment, that creativity can be incredibly grounding.  I love theater, all aspects.  There is nothing better than the feeling at the end of a performance well done.  You can feel the applause, not just hear it.  But the feeling comes from knowing that you've done your job well, that you've reached out and touched people.  It's a feeling of knowing that for maybe even just a little while you've changed someone's world for the better.

Apologies for the meandering.  I'll let you know when Keren's a star.

Good night and pleasant dreams.

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