Our community theatre (of whose e-mail loop Erin has so graciously subscribed us to) put out a call early this week for auditions for "The Music Man." The auditions, this coming Tuesday and Wednesday evening, have been the main topic of conversation in our home ever since. At first we all came to the conclusion (rather practically) that Erin must not try out. You can guess the main reason. However, practicality didn't last very long when Erin found out that our church's summer theatre was going to do a play that didn't need the extraordinary talents of a fifteen year old girl. What I would describe as PANIC was the main emotion that persuaded Erin that she indeed did need to audition for this play. "This may be my only chance to act this year." "I have to act." "I'll die if I don't."
She didn't have to tell me these things. I already knew. I've known since at least our first year of homeschool (her kindergarten year) when she managed to cast Brady and I in her own stage version of "Cinderella," (I had to be Cinderella because I fit into the fancy gown.) She has managed to keep acting ever since. I think she may have dressed up the cats when we lived on our acreage in Iowa and cast them with roles in a fairy tale. We couldn't study the Greek myths in homeschool without writing out scripts and (Brady, Erin and I) acting them out in front of Dad. In fourth grade, she thrived as an orphan in our community theatre's "Oliver!" (How else did you think I knew the words to "Food, Glorious, Food?") The year after that she was able to use her well-learned Cockney accent as Little Emily in a private school's summer production of "David Copperfield." She continued to get her family involved in productions at home. Several movies have been made by McIntosh Studio Productions (Brady not only had to act in them, but film them as well.) She's recruited friends to act in her movies. There's been a film of a Hardy Boys mystery with a couple of former neighbors and a fantasy written by Erin and her friend Kelsie starring the "Six Pack." Last year she was able to act publicly again in our church's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." It had been three years since her last public performance which was "way too long" according to you know who.
On Friday we broke down and told Erin that she could at least audition for "The Music Man." Friday night I couldn't sleep. What were we thinking? What will we do if she gets a part? Besides her major health issues... what about Great Books class, choir, her audio taping for Canon? ETC., ETC.! But even after I sorted through all of that, the answer was still obvious. Of course she needed to do this. Her smile after working on her song for auditions that day was the biggest we'd seen since the "after performance hugs" we gave her last August. That play had helped her to "live" last summer. There really was something to her "I'll die if I don't" statement.
Erin can't figure out why we don't all feel this same way. She has been pestering Brady to audition too. "And mom, why don't you try out...I think there is a part for someone your age," she insists. Yesterday, Brady started singing a song at the computer which provided a perfect "in" for Erin to keep encouraging him to audition.
Last night I didn't worry or stew about our decision. I dreamt about the auditions. Did I dream about Erin and the song she sang? No, I'm not sure if I got that far. The news of the whole audition was that "Magnum P.I." (Tom Selleck) was here and was going to be the music man. They needed an older leading lady than they had originally planned because of this. Everyone kept trying to get me to try out for it and I kept saying, "No, I'm an alto...Erin told me the part was for a soprano!" The auditions were taking place in a basketball gym. "Magnum" was leading and organizing things. Tons of people were there, mostly just to watch, because of the famous leading man. A whole bunch of people from my old home town were there. A male classmate of mine, Sam, got up and tried out for a dancing part. And then my friend Debby and her husband walked in and Debby was talked into trying out for the leading lady. I don't know if she got the part because the next thing I knew I was awake and laughing to myself. What a hoot! I'm not sure if I've ever had such an entertaining dream.
Just in case any of you are interested, auditions are in two more days, four hours, and fifteen minutes.