Friday, November 30, 2007

John Drove For This One

Scarlett wraps up one Guthrie gig and immediately auditions for another: a read through of Little House on the Prairie.

The only problem is that she's already in a SteppingStone Theatre show during the week of the read through. Doesn't matter. She wants to audition.

Translation: she wants a parent to drive her to Minneapolis during rush hour, wait in long lines, cower in the face of Competition, make excruciating small talk (perhaps even comparing notes: "Oh, what has your daughter done?"), and then drive her back home again.

This brings me back to October, when she begged to audition for a play while currently rehearsing for The Home Place at The Guthrie.

I held up the schedules -- incompatible. "You can't do both," I reason. "You're already booked. Why bother?"

Scarlett: "I LOVE to audition. Please, please, please. I NEED to audition!"

She auditioned for the show she couldn't do.

The current Guthrie audition is for children who sing well. Scarlett does. Many sing better. They are to sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

This is The Guthrie. You can bet there will be quasi-pros queuing up, rehearsals held, lessons had.

I ask Scarlett: "Do you know the words?"

Scarlett: "Sorta."

Me: "Do you know the tune?"

Scarlett: "Mostly."

So once again she wants to audition for a show she probably can't do and to boot, is ill-prepared for.

For the year she's been acting--the shows and all the auditions--I have kept my mouth shut. I have taken her to stages with uncombed hair (its natural state), mismatched clothes, and rings of chocolate (or spaghetti or sucker) around her lips. There has been neither tutelage nor immersion in topic of play. John and I have put cross-country mileage into this child's transportation needs. Her older brother says of the crowd around his sister: "I am openly jealous." Her younger brother told a friend he could have Scarlett's room because "my sister lives in a play." Bedtime during October turned into midnight, all that Guthrie juju shooting through her addictive little veins. When someone called to tell her that she was on TV, she said, "So?"

So. So I say: "I think you should know the words."

Scarlett runs to her room in outrage, screaming.

You know those cartoons where the character morphs into someone else? Their face contorts and plasticizes and they snap into someone new--like a Super Hero?

This begins to happen to me, only the emerging figure is a uniquely pathological mixture of Joan Crawford and Gypsy Rose's mother, Rose. Electricity actually popped off my fingertips and my head spun, twice.

I'm going to rent The Shining and start working on my novel.

Things are looking up around here.

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