Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Lot of Livin' To Do~ Bye Bye Birdie

Beautiful Bliss was cast as part of the teen ensemble in Bye Bye Birdie this summer. It was a wonderful performance with a talented cast, a terrific orchestra, super choreography, and an experience that will last her a lifetime. 

She practiced 10 weeks (some times 10-11 hour days), learned loads about acting/dancing/singing, made warm friendships, and got deeper bit by the acting bug.

The play ran several nights during a two week period. She loved every moment and I thought she shined. 

Family, friends, class mates, and teachers went to see the sweet sight of Liv. What a blessed girl.

Kid sis, Audrey, was in the audience for every single show (even when her parents were not). Her biggest fan indeed. 

Until the curtain rises again, Bliss, we're waiting in the wings ready to watch your star rise some more. I am one proud mama.


Summer 2012 was all about the stage. The girls were in theatre camps and stage performances for nearly 10 weeks and when they were not being trained in acting/dancing/singing they were creating their own drama at home. Or at least one of them was--Audrey girl.

Tweendom and hormones hit hard this summer and while Audrey learned so much at these camps and had fun (at some of them), the end of the summer show took a turn for the worse.

Cast as Mowgli in a performance of Jungle Book which Audrey had to audition to get in to the performance camp itself, was a bust. She auditioned in May and waited on pins and needles until the camp kicked off the middle of August.

Day one she was devastated feeling she was sold a bill of goods. Her fellow actors were not what she'd expected as one struggled with reading, another with focus, and some were stage shy. While all of these things are perfectly acceptable and not appropriate to judge, she (and I) had believed this to be a group of kids with some acting training and therefore, she was going to close the curtain on summer with a smashing show. 

Not so much. Several things threw her off that week (she fell hard on the pavement the first night that camp kicked off and still has a scar to prove it (nearly 2 months later) &  she was very bruised and scratched up as a result), her grandparents (whom she had not seen in a year) flew in the night before rehearsals kicked off and she was sent to practice for 6 hour days in a town away while we all got reacquainted, the role was quite physical as a snake and a bear and more pulled and poked and prodded her and she did not know these kids at all until that week. Needless to say, she spent the time before and after rehearsals crying. And apparently during. She did not eat. She was always in the bathroom with an upset tummy. 

Eric, me, my parents, and Olivia cheered her on. We came up with mantras, we spoke about not letting people down as she was the "lead", we drilled in to her, "Wilkinson's are not quitters." All our efforts were in vain. The morning of Day 4 the theatre called and said it was time to remove her from the play.  

She was so relieved. My emotions remain mixed. It was one hell of a week.

But the summer was not a total bust by any means. She did play a sweet Sandy in Grease,
 Broadway Bound~ July 2012
A darling teapot in Beauty & the Beast

Beauty & the Beast.
Broadway Bound~ July 2012.

and she glowed as Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical.
Village Theatre, Everett. July 2012.

For now, we're simply staying out of the jungle.

new girl & the american girl.

4th grade has been challenging socially for Audrey and we're only a month in to the school year. Classes are small, girls are few, and there is a brand new girl who struggles with how she interacts with others. 

Because Audrey is missing her friends in the other 4th grade class (terribly so), the teacher put her in charge of tending to "the new girl" thinking it may help them both. At first this situation was a bit of a bust. No filter, a bit of sass, and personal space issues made things uncomfortable for Audrey.

So we spent a lot of time talking about how this child might feel in a new setting (alone, worried, awkward) and about how she was being raised by a great aunt (no parents in the picture) and how her sister was unable to attend our school (she has special needs and our school is too small to offer these types of services). 

Audrey's mind began to understand. 

Days later she came home with a card that read, "Dear Audrey, You are so kind I would give you a thousand pieces of paper and you would say, 'Thank You. So Nice'."

That same day Audrey told me how the little miss was "staring and staring" at her for quite some time  (apparently she does this a lot to her) and then she broke in to a big smile and remarked, "That's It! You look just like Emily, the American Girl doll. She's beautiful. And sweet. Just like you."

Audrey's heart began to swell.