Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stage Mother

Stage Mother is about to implode.

The actor child has rehearsals and performances booked through January 23, 2011. This would be every, single day (okay, a very few exceptions, considering there's Christmas, Chanukah and all that--oh, and maybe Oprah's birthday? ) of driving, monitoring the missed school and unusual homework needs.

Scarlett will miss a solid six weeks of school. Oh -- did the Matron mention that during those six weeks there will be driving obligations? With a three hour rehearsal or performance gap and then driving again? Said transportation requirements extend to midnight on weekends -- a mere 10:30 pm on school nights.

Yesterday, this child required six hours of special attention. There was a commercial audition conveniently scheduled during the middle of the school/work day and then the Iveys (local theater awards gala) at night.

Scarlett: "But Mom, Dad, I will DIE DIE DIE if I miss the Iveys!!!"

This wouldn't be so bad if many days didn't involve three to six hours of driving, resume building, agent emailing, hand-holding, waiting, and more.

This is what bothers her most.

Matron: "Merrick, what are you doing?"

Merrick: "Watching TV."

Matron: "HWCBN, what are you doing?"

HWCBN: "Playing a game on my computer."

So the other two stagnate while Scarlett is off to another big screen endeavor.

Say it ain't so, Joe.

On the other hand -- how do you say no to a dream? Not your own dream or desire or even goal --but the genuine, heartfelt love of a child who wants nothing more than to live on stage or screen. This is what keep the Matron going -- gets her into the minivan for the driving, waiting and hand-holding (and the latter would now be in regard to algebra and not acting).

So for now she's putting in the hours (like a soccer or hockey mom, although she hates those monikers) and trying to see --somewhere? -- that bigger picture.

But Stage Mother? Over-extended.

But potential big blog fodder: she has to decide whether to depart for LA for 8 weeks for pilot season and is waiting to hear what happened with an audition for a lead in a Disney film.

Could be BIG BIG blog juju ahead. . . but let's say the next five months of driving are sufficient. . ..


Anonymous said...

We are in the busy season here. EB has cross country practice (daily) and meets (1-2x per week). He's 18 but hasn't bothered getting his driver's license. He doesn't see or feel a need for it. (!!) Meanwhile, H-J has marching band rehearsal 3-4 days per week, plus a competition every weekend. I'm the perpetual chaperone for those events. True, I enjoy them or I wouldn't be signing up for every. single. one. But still, it will be the middle of November before I have time to breathe.
At least the weekday practices/rehearsals are in the same general vicinity, and one parent can usually do the chauffeuring (at suppertime, of course). The youngest gets dragged to all of his older brothers' events. I try to find ways to make him feel special, since going to Costco with me doesn't seem to count anymore.
My husband had to suggest calling the college son tonight. Which reminds me to mail that long-overdue care package to him.

Clearly, I have no great advice. Just keep breathing.

smalltownme said...

Bless you, Matron, for not shattering her dreams with the words "it's too far to drive." (I vividly recall those words from my mother -- even though I had my license and would have been able to drive myself.)

She's proven her talent and wow, Wow, WOW, she will do amazing things.

Xtreme English said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xtreme English said...

glory be! hats off to you and your prodigy!! she has to get at least part of her zip from you...god speed with the driving and all. and GO to california. there's nothing better than the Trader Joe's over by....oh, what studio is it? paramount? there's time enough for schoolwork and other stuff.

MJ said...

Wow. I was hoping that life would simplify with my girls as they aged but I think I need to invest in rollerblades as walking/running will not suffice as they age! Happily, or not, I suspect that my girls will be more like your sons than the opposite extreme of Scarlett! Still, it is very exciting for her & great that you are so supportive!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm pulling for you Matron. I have one off to college, one in heaven and one on the cusp of driving herself ~ but she has lots of friends with "have license, will travel..."

From where I sit? These days go by so quickly. In a blink they don't need the lion's share of our time anymore.

When I think about living those days again? I'm monumentally relieved and tired. I hope that isn't wrong.

I wish I could take a shift for you.

There will come a time when they look back on their lives through the filter of their friend's life. Oh how the gratitude completely erases the memory of the spent, running on empty Mom.

If every child was raised in a family like yours -- we would live in a different world. Thank you!

Cindy in Walla Walla

trash said...

Ummm ... my big plan is to manage to get the girl child to Scouts tonight. This is a three minute walk from our house. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Jen on the Edge said...

What Smalltownmom said -- bless you for supporting this and not crushing her dreams. If only all children had such supportive families.

JFS in IL said...

Does Scarlett earn enough from these acting gigs to cover the cost of a paid attendant for some of the running around? Or a tutor? That way you could assign certain days of the week to NOT driving her and instead being with the other kids.

Just a thought.

Regina said...

I work in theater. I am an adult, and I still find it crushing at times. I admire kid actors, but I more admire their parents. I can only imagine what you go through, and I hope someone is saying "Thank You" at the end of the day. So, just in case, Thank You. (PS- and if you're aren't already, become best friends with the stage manager or wardrobe person and I'll bet they will hang with Scarlett on her breaks saving you some driving...)

Minnesota Matron said...

You guys are great! A child in heaven, Anonymous? This sort of puts it in perspective. But yes, crushing it is. Every time I hear about 'stage mothers' as the overbearing self-serving misguided tyrant, I want to scream. Of course, I'm super proud of Scarlett but I'd be happy to give up all of the time obligations her passion involves. That said, I guess I'm not ready to deny the passion. I just wish I had more time in the day!!

JFS in IL said...

You need a Time Turner. :-)

Anonymous said...

Your husband pitches in for those boys, right? I know it's tough to juggle the demands of demanding kids and the guilt of the easy kids (having a similar, but totally different dynamic at my house). But they'll each get what they need from you! I know it!

Daisy said...

Not sure if it will be better or worse when Scarlett is old enough to drive....

Suburban Correspondent said...