Monday, October 26, 2009

How this Stage Mother Operates

Regular readers know that the Matron is a Stage Mother.

And she is here to tell you that you cannot force a child into the life that Scarlett has, one that largely is structured by, well: WORK.

At the moment, Scarlett is Annie, here, opening Friday.

One week before that show ends, rehearsals for Mr. Fezziwig's Feast, begins. Scarlett plays several roles in that holiday production at Actor's Theater of Minnesota. More money for the college fund, although Scarlett's parents might not see this show based on the $75 ticket price! Lord have mercy!

Fezziwig ends on December 20th.

December 29th, rehearsals for this begin. At this rate, the child will go to Harvard. At least she has nine days off for Christmas.

Matron: "Scarlett, would you like to take a little break?"

Scarlett (screaming): "DON'T MAKE ME STOP ACTING I WILL DIE!!!!!!!"

While Scarlett is falling down as a wan polio victim in Sister Kenny's Children, rehearsals for The Miracle Worker begin -- Scarlett is reprising Helen Keller, at this Theater.

Sister Kenny closes February 14. The Miracle Worker opens February 15.

The Miracle Worker closes at the end of March. Scarlett's plans are to audition for yet another show that will start rehearsing immediately thereafter and includes performances in New York.

Scarlett has an agent. Uh, two. One local and one in L.A.

They called her. Repeat. They called her.

Ring, ring, ring.

Matron: "Hello?"

Agent X: "Is this Scarlett Thompson's mother? The child currently playing Ramona Quimby at The Children's Theatre?"

And so it goes.

Now, Scarlett has been tapped to start recording music by some local heavy hitters, exploring the possibility of the RECORDING label.

No - the Stage Mother did NOT seek this out. Complete 100% serendipity.

Because the Universe keeps opening doors for Scarlett, with no scheme or plan -- and Scarlett is happy, generous, disciplined and loving -- this family keeps walking through those doors.

Indeed--although the Matron has met a few stereotypical stage parents and worse -- some of her ilk are being pulled (more or less dazed and confused) by their driven children. Do you think the parent can force a child to bounce on stage for 74 shows in six weeks and be happy?

Matron: "Scarlett, do you want to maybe make a CD and do music? It might not work out but this strange thing happened ------ "


Imagine it is 8 am in the morning. You are getting your child ready for school: cereal, banana, coat, backpack. Cereal and banana because, actually, you do need to eat.

Matron: "Have a good day at school, sweetie!"

Scarlett: "Mama? Have you heard from my agent? The girl who is going to get me a movie? Can I be in a new commercial? Am I going to make that record tomorrow? Is there another audition? Ca we watch youtube videos of my shows?"

Trust her. This child is a freight train.

The Matron? If she is the engineer, it's all about slowing down and making sure Scarlett is able to see the "Stop Sign" at the crossroads. For the past three years, luck has followed this child. Doors open. Opportunity? Says: yes!

Parenting the star is easy. Parenting the child who wants to be the star -- with all of her being!-- and isn't? Hard. That's the horizon the Matron follows because no is always ahead.

No exists. For all of us, in one form or another. It's the child you never had, the book that didn't get published (ouch), the job you didn't get, the fame that eluded you. No is the life that you envisioned that didn't really come to be. The no in our lives might be larger or small. But it's there for us all.

It's how we answer that no that shapes us.


Suburban Correspondent said...

Sounds like Scarlett might have the personal wherewithal to survive a few nos, don't you think? She seems to be doing this for the love of the work itself, not just for the fame potential.

Karen said...

Thank you for sharing the journey with us.

Karen said...

Is she orange cast or red cast? If we come we want to see her!

smalltownme said...

I understand. In my life, my boy is motivated...20+ hours volunteering at Boo-At-The-Zoo this weekend....which was a 45 minute drive each way for us for 3 nights..

He loves it for the fun of it...but he wants to earn the hours too. (500 hours before the end of the year gets him a 50 year pass)

A little love, a little commerce...and a whole lot of driving.

MJ said...

Wow. Scarlett is driven, in the sense of being ambitious and chauffeured. Just reading of her activities makes me tired!

Minnesota Matron said...

Scarlett is the red cast, for scarlet. Hey, if any blog readers go, let me know. I'll say hi in the lobby. This has happened before . . .

dkuroiwa said...

That girl of yours is truly amazing. (as are you to be able to keep THAT hectic schedule plus your own PLUS keep your family from falling down around you....again...amazing!)

To have been blessed with such talent is wonderful...I wish we lived, at least, in the same hemisphere for I'd love to see her "in action"!!
And yeah...I'm with Surburban C....a few nos probably won't even phase your Miss Scarlett...she's got too many other things going to worry about that!!
Hang in there Mom...the ride seems to have just begun!!!

Minnesota Matron said...

Here's the pinch on the no. Even though Scarlett has another full season and has this new deal being 'developed' as a singer, she also has a lot of no. She lands about half of what she auditions for. Still, in theater, half is pretty amazing.

Kizz said...

She won't go to Harvard. Their theatre program sucks. :) She might go to NYU, though, and that's just as expensive.

Kizz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
unmitigated me said...

I was thinking Juilliard, which is pricey, but no more than the University of Michigan for a resident! Not too bad, considering their rep. About 45K a year. Think scholarships!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

I love that your readers are figuring out where Scarlett will go to college.

Bless the mom who nurtures the child and her passions.

Susan said...

I admire the stamina of mother and daughter.

Anonymous said...

How you do it...I am in awe.

Glennis said...

Oh, man, hold onto your horses!!

Actually, I've worked shows with kid actors, and many of them are very solidly grounded - especially the ones in theatre, not TV or film.

I actually know someone works in the children's theatre in Minneapolis, we worked together on a show with a couple of kid actors.

Except I really, really, really hate the music from Annie.

40something said...

When Scarlett finally gets a big "yes," even though I've never met you face to face, I will always feel look I knew her "way back when." Thank you for sharing your lovely writing and you family's adventures.

Minnesota Matron said...

You guys rock! If Scarlett ever needs a real manager, I can just use my blog readers :-)