I spent two hours sitting in a cold gymnasium yesterday watching a group of 66 children audition for The Missoula Children's Theater directors of Rumpelstiltskin.
I've seen these auditions before and they are always fascinating.
This year Miss 10 was once again auditioning. Typically I stay to watch so that every so often I can make eye contact with her and remind her to smile, STOP TALKING, or sit still. She has been in their shows before, playing a duck in The Frog Prince and a doll in Pinocchio. The last two years she hasn't been able to perform however. Last year she didn't get a part, and the previous year we were at the state Cross Country meet during the performances. So this year she was anxious and nervous that she wouldn't get a part again.
If you haven't had the privilege of watching a MCT show, you really should take the time. The cast is set, the practices are done and the show goes on all in less than a week. Sure, it's not a big Broadway performance, but it's entertaining anyway, and the kids are always adorable. It's nothing Tony worthy by any means, but it's a chance for the kids to perform, learn and create, and really can you ask for more?
I was incredibly proud of Miss 10 during the audition. There was no sign of the usual shy routine from her. She didn't duck her head when she was supposed to give her lines. She didn't shuffle around during the tiny little dance number and she didn't mumble her name when asked. She actually tried very hard to do exactly as the directors asked. When she was supposed to be sad, she was droopy and glum, when she was to be overly jubilant she was big and expressive and when she was supposed to be mad there was stomping of feet and crossing of arms with a big old pout thrown in for good measure. More than one parent commented to me on the big change in her. It was a good feeling. Even if she didn't get a part this time, I was thrilled to see the side I know of her showing up to others.
The directors rated, debated, wrote down, moved kids around, made lines of children, made circles of children, listened to them sing in groups, watched them memorize a short dance routine and perform it, paid attention to who listened to precisely the right directions, watched who spent the entire time screwing around and after two hours they magically cast the show with the the exact right people in the exact right parts. The kids we know to be performers got the big parts, the kids who typically are the ones we are always asking to be quite, listen or sit still got the "villager" parts in the background. It never ceases to amaze me how the directors can pick out those kids in a mass audition like that.
Miss 10 did get a part, she's not the star, but she's not a villager. She's in a small group as a Wizard. She has a small speaking part and just enough lines to memorize to give her a little challenge and a brief moment in the spotlight.
Our week will be insane with school from 8:15 to 3:20 and rehearsals from 4:00 to 8:30, but it's only a week. We can survive one week~ I hope.
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