And the Oscar Goes to…

First, let’s start with just a small taste of the acting (and directing) ability of our little Zoe:

CLICK FOR VIDEO

That footage was taken at the KidSpace Museum in their Hawk’s nest, a precursor to Zoe’s big debut on stage. Remember last year when she wanted to be ALICE in her school’s production of Alice in Wonderland? Well, she didn’t end up as Alice but she DID end up in the Queen’s Court, a role with no lines BUT that eventually had gestures and a few quippy words from the group.

Flash forward to Friday, April 28, and Zoe had her first real theater experience. Sure, the theater was a stage in a local church, but honestly, these kids – led by volunteer mothers! – did an amazing job.

Here are some highlights:

  • The week before the show, there were almost daily dress rehearsals, wreaking havoc on our schedules (I know how stage parents feel – well, a tiny bit)
  • There were THREE shows: Friday night 5-7, Saturday 2-4 and again 5-7 (I’ll tell you right now, that’s a LOT for elementary kids – and their parents)
  • Bart attended EVERY show, and for the first show, we were both on the front row. Shaky footage below.
  • For show days, the kids had to be there 2 hours before the show, and let me tell you, those two hours were CHAOS. Kids running around half in costume, half out, exploring the church, getting makeup (many for the first time, like Zoe). At one point a kid got accidentally locked in the bathroom, screaming (for 42 seconds). At another, one parent who worked at the church had to educate these kids on taking care of property and what was (and was not) acceptable behavior. Another? They had to close the exterior doors to keep the kids IN.
  • It’s a weird feeling to “kind of” know where your kid is in all that chaos and have to trust the universe (and the “village” of parents) that all will be OK. But even with the chaos, I don’t regret letting her do this show. She’s a terrific kid.

But on to the good stuff. I took short videos (vs. a long one that’s difficult to text or upload), so the following is some slightly disjointed snippets from the show, cobbled together in iMovie, so you can see Zoe in action (15 minutes of fame):

CLICK FOR VIDEO

She was awesome, though a few things popped to mind:

  • She reminds me of myself in one way: She cannot be still. After the first show, I pointed it out to her and showed the videos and she said, “I just don’t like standing still, Mom.” I hear you, Zoe. Oh, and tights are no better today than they ever were.
  • The fact that she is the youngest person in her grade (born on the cutoff date for school) – not to mention the youngest one on stage – is evident. I couldn’t help thinking of what she’d be like in a few years and wondering if she’d want to do this theater thing THEN. I have mixed feelings about that, but she’d be great!

At the end of the last show, we were beaming with pride. Ella attended that one and was trying to walk through the insane crowd of kids and parents at the end, holding flowers for Zoe, until I couldn’t stand it anymore and picked her up. Because Zoe was missing.

We searched the whole church, through the 4 different “dressing areas”, the bathrooms, the hallways. I frantically searched every face in the theater room first, realizing that this show was open to the public, and the last time I’d seen her she was headed for the door (along with the other kids – it was how the show ended – only they all came back to the stage).

As with any “disaster averted” situation, when we DID find her and knew she was safe, I was livid, in the way scared moms get mad. Turns out she had gone back to a different dressing room to change back into her street clothes. How responsible?

Once we talked about how scary that was and other options she had available for next time, we took her to her favorite local restaurant, Miceli’s, where the servers all sing and are mostly aspiring actors. Apropos, I’d say.

And so, the Oscar goes to Zoe (and also to Bart) for rocking her first show. And keep your eyes on the awards shows because, well, you never know.

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