18 December 2008

Everyone Deserves a Standing Ovation

“The earth has grown old with its burden of care
But at Christmas it always is young,
The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair
And its soul full of music breaks the air,
When the song of angels is sung.”
~Phillip Brooks

Last night was a Christmas Concert I will never forget.

Mrs. K, the music teacher at both schools, is one of the most gifted and creative teachers I have ever met. She puts on these absolutely wonderful Christmas concerts each year. How she manages to get a few hundred too-cool-for-school 3rd through 5th graders or a few hundred wiggly wonders from K-2nd to fly in formation I will never know!

The concert last night for my 5th grade Sport-o son was a riot. Telling the story of the birth of Jesus in a wacky, Dr Suess sort of way the kids had lines to read, and movement to do (you can't call it dance, or no boys would do it!), and Sport-o even had a solo to sing. Most parents I spoke with after the concert confirmed what I had already known…that their son or daughter had told them little of their involvement so we were each shocked in turn when our 10 year olds wowed us with their positively thespian ways.

We were so caught up in the moment and the movement that it wasn't until Sport-o opened his mouth at the mic to sing that we realized that his part had come. What a fabulous job he did! Never missed a note! [I am so proud.]

I caught up with Mrs. K today at my favorite coffee shop. She commented that Sport-o was really solid on the notes, well prepared with the song, and not phased at all by the thought of getting up on that stage and singing. Same thing with his Tiny Dancer sister who sang a solo in the K-2 Christmas Pageant performance. I am so impressed with my progeny's ability to be so at ease on stage. It took me 24 years before I made that leap myself!

When I was out of college and embarking on my young married life, I had the wacky idea to try out for the local community theater. Now, I had never acted on stage, and I hadn’t been in a choir since I was about 12, but I thought it was a fine thing for me to do. I was encouraged by the director who espoused that community theater should be made up of community members. You see, I had always harbored a silent desire to sing and act on stage. But I was terribly frightened by the thought. So since I reasoned that no one was going to encourage me to do this, I might as well encourage myself.

I tried out for a part in “Annie Get Your Gun” and I got it. I had four costume changes, sang in the chorus on all the big numbers and uttered one word on stage: “Charmed.” Needless to say I milked it for all it was worth!

It was a wonderful experience. So wonderful that I decided the next year to try out again, but this time go for a part with a few more than one word.

And try out I did. For “Hello, Dolly.” And I got a part. The part. Dolly Levi.

I went from speaking one word to speaking all the words! I had to get over my angst about being on stage. The whole cast was counting on me. And I could not disappoint.

I admit that when the director offered me the lead I had a moment of disbelief followed by thoughts that I couldn’t seriously do this. But after considering it, I realized that this was my big dream, and if I said no, he must have made a mistake, I would regret it forever. And I might never get this opportunity again. So I did it. And it was great.

The experience made me stronger by allowing me to trust my abilities and also trust that others have good judgment to see that thing in me that I might have trouble seeing myself. From that experience I came away with a renewed sense of self. And a firm conviction that every person needs at least one standing ovation in their lives.

What have you done creatively that deserves a standing ovation?
Tell me about it and let me applaud you!

Check It Out:: http://mrsfligs.blogspot.com/

You can find a great little quiz on children's books and some other fun stuff!

Enjoy the day!


Anonymous said...

How wonderful for your son!
Don't you love the way your heart swells up and you start to cry when they open their little mouth up on that stage?

What a warm Christmas image--thanks!

Merry Christmas! ~Angie

babbler said...

I give you a standing ovation for your inspiration! Great blog! You made my day.
Mrs. Slug in Oregon, a.k.a., Barb

Jenners said...

Great for your kids! And good for you! It sounds like you might have some real talent there ... they don't give parts away to just anybody!

Laura Jayne said...

I just love a kid play. Fills your heart with joy. Thanks for the sharing of the night. Made me smile. :)


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