Thursday, November 17, 2005

Opening Night

Tonight is the opening night of Jessica's play. Unlike two years ago when she freaked out magic fish - Jessica's stage debutthe night of the dress rehearsal, she's handled each of the plays she's been in since then very well.

She finished all her homework. Last night she made sure to eat food, relax, finish all of her homework (even though her history teacher told her she could hand her assignment in on Friday) and get to bed early. She's a consummate professional, a veteran of four major performances. Five if you count her debut in second grade as the wish granting fish in "The Magic Fish."

We knew then that she was destined for greatness. She played the fish with a cruel hand, a steel eye, an a twist of humor. She took the very sad children's legend of a fisherman who is granted wishes by the fish but is pushed by the greedy wife, and she brought vibrant interpretation to the role. And she wore a cool fish costume.

Tonight she plays a borderline senile old grandma lady. She gets to yell "What!?" a lot and "I want some ice cream!" And then she gets to whack people with her cane. Should be amusing.

Today in school is the preview assembly where they do a few scenes. This is the way they try to entice jaded middle-school students into coming to the performances. Last year a large group came to see Alice in Wonderland and sat in the back and snarfed through the whole performance, to the point that some parents nailed them at intermission and told them to shut up or get out. At first, I was really excited to see them.

"Hey! They showed up to support the actors and their friends! How cool is that!" I said to Jessie.

"No, actually they came to make fun of us" was her reply.

I try and go to at least two of the four performances, and Doug called me a "crazy stage mom" last night. I was somewhat surprised. I never really thought going to support my kid's ONE interest on the planet that doesn't involve being horizontal on the couch with remote in hand qualified me as crazy stage mom. I took offense to the statement. But so what if I am, really. I think of all the kids who get absolutely no support, no rides after school, nothing but grief, when it is the one thing they want to do -- be it band or drama or sports or whatever -- and it is the least I can do, to go and support what they're doing.

Plus, they're actually really good so it's worth it.

My mom always went to all my band and choir events. My mom chaperoned trips on the bus. My mom bundled up and cheered for us in field shows in November when it was starting to snow and we were competing with much smaller, better bands. I don't remember my dad going to one concert. Staying home after work (Yes, he worked hard but so did my mom) to drink himself into nightly oblivion was far more important.

If he had been honest with me the way Nance is with her boy (they have a monetary arrangement -- she pays him off to get out of going, which slays me) it would have been better. Shrugging and saying "Meh" and going back to the Meisterbrau didn't communicate a very supporting feel to me. And I really resented that.

So I go. And I will go. And now that my parents live 2 hours away you better damn well believe they're going. And I'm making my father go too. Payback for all the shows and concerts he blew off. Ha.

Anyway. This crazy stage mom has to get into work for a crazy work day. Off to shower. Have a good one yinz.

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