First Audition – Love and Pride

First Audition

By: Danny Thomas

Lil’ Chaos had her first audition…
It was not easy, for us.
Or her.
But she did it!

She did it…

It’s funny, we are pretty much a theatre family so you’d think this would be
easy, or at least easyish… or that we’d have some calluses built up for this kind of thing…

You know, Jen teaches 18-22-year-olds how to audition,
and that’s easier,
It seems like,
than trying to figure out what a six-year-old needs for an audition…

Lil’ Chaos has been wanting to be “in a show” for over a year…
She’s grown up around them – and seen many, many plays…
In fact, last summer we went to see Fiddler on the Roof Jr. and she declared,
“By next summer, I will be in a show!”

So we signed her up for Theatre Camp this summer…
And part of camp is auditioning…
They all get in, it’s a cursory audition, for placement, and education…

Lil’ Chaos was excited and picked a song
“Lay All Your Love” from Mamma Mia!
I couldn’t have been more pleased with her song choice…

She learned it well…
but had some nerves about performing it
we practiced around the house
and even went to over to the college stage
to practice in a theatre.

Her mom and I have struggled a bit
with how to deal with her nerves and shyness
around all of this audition stuff…
it seems like uncharacteristic anxiety…

I guess the reason is because she is so gregarious and outgoing most of the rest of the time…

but the reality is that even the most outgoing of us, in certain situations, especially when the pressure is on, can get shy and anxious, Jen and I too, to be sure.

‘Tis, yet again,

an opportunity for adjusted expectations.”

We drove to the audition, all together, sang the verse a couple times as a family, then unloaded ourselves… roly poly tumble bumble, into the audition place.

Lil’ Chaos was manic.

She was literally, and yes I mean literally, bouncing off the walls.

It was hard to take – luckily I had to walk the baby around to keep her quiet…
I was nervous.
Lil’ Chaos was nervous
Jen was nervous
Zilla was being three
There was friction.

When she was called in my heart jumped
and the three-year-old started screaming…
she wanted to go too
it was not awesome.

She came out and was clearly disappointed.

That was a sucky feeling.

She had been too nervous to sing her song,
and sang Happy Birthday instead.

we were sad that she was disappointed
we were disappointed that she had put work into
learning the song and didn’t get to share it…

and it was hard to tell if she was disappointed
and sad because of pressure she put on herself
or pressure she perceived we had put on her
or what…

This is strange new territory for us.

A big part of the reason I stopped trying to be an actor is because I hate auditions and how they make me feel. I hate them.

Hate them.

Jen acts like they’re no big deal, but I’m sure they get the better of her too.

I was less worried about Lil’Chaos the other day when she wrecked her bike and landed on her face
than I was seeing her come out of this audition…

We both kept telling her – as she was building up nerves about the thing
that auditioning was part of being in a show,
and that it’s okay to be nervous,
and that even big stars get nervous,
and it’s okay to be scared,
and you just have to have fun, be yourself, and do your best.

which she did
she did it
she got through it
and that is the part
that we finally realized we needed to focus on.

She did it.

The post First Audition appeared first on The Next Family.

Danny Thomas

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