Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Audition

My son has wanted to be an actor ever since the day I took him to see a production-for-children of Peter Pan at the local playhouse. The minute the play was over, while the other kids were probably talking about what they wanted to do for the rest of the day, my son was talking about what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Despite his young age (only 7!) he articulated his feelings perfectly. He said, "I want to do what they did." I thought it was adorable.

Years went by and he was still speaking about becoming an actor. It was not anything that I had planned for him through my pregancy, and his baby years. I can remember rocking him in the wee hours of the morning, whispering softly into the downy hair covering the dimple at the top of his head, "you can be anything you want to be: a doctor, a lawyer, a scientist, the president of the United States." For me, it was clear: he was brilliant, beautiful, and blessed by God. He would do amazing things.

In my defense, I got it half right. He certainly has done amazing things; just not the things that I had envisioned. On Saturday, he amazed me once again. He auditioned for a spot in acting conservatory. They estimated that roughly 600 people would be auditioning. There are fewer than 25 openings. The odds took my breath away. I was a basket case. I was jittery. I could not control my anxiety.

My son was just...well, amazing. He greeted every single person as though he had known them his whole life. He was friendly to the others auditioning, laughing and commiserating with them. I saw him mentally preparing, but not once did I see a doubt creep in. He was ready, he was prepared and I was so proud of him. The consummate professional, he did not allow himself to feel anything until it was over. Then he and another prospective student laughed with each other over their nervous energy.

Now we wait. It is extremely hard for me. I know that my son would be an asset to their conservatory. But the conservatory would offer so much to my son as well. His pursuit of his dream has sometimes made him a misfit. Most boys his age cannot fathom the commitment he has to make to the company when he is involved in a play: every weekend, 15 hour days, time spent learning lines during the week, blocking, choreography, run-throughs. As his mother, even I have had a hard time with it.

Being a part of this conservatory would give my son a place with like-minded people. I pray that they could see what a great fit it would be.