Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not everyone will understand...

Amy with her Improv Workshop group - she is 3rd from left, front  row

Note: This was published several days ago and then removed. It was removed for a number of reasons that I won't go into now, but here it is again. :)  For now. It may be gone again tomorrow.

I am completely and totally bogged down these days with my duties as a taxi driver, personal assistant, tutor, cook, maid, etc. etc. etc. and I just don't have time to blog. Just a few lines to tell you where we all are and what's up.

Amy is happy and at home in the theatre these days. She is involved in rehearsals for three shows, with her first performance coming up this weekend. She has been taking an Improv Workshop at her favorite local theatre (Act3) for a couple of months and they will have a show Friday night.

At this same theatre she is in rehearsals for RENT - School Edition, with performances coming up in November. She is thrilled to be a part of this show - one of her favorite Broadway musicals at this time. If you are familiar with RENT you are probably thinking, isn't she a little young for that? Well, yes, I did have to think long and hard about allowing her to audition for this one - at 14 she is the youngest (along with 2 other 9th graders) in the cast of older high schoolers and college students. It is the school edition, so some of the language has been altered and a song has been left out, but the themes are the same. In the end I had to say yes. 

Several reasons - this is an award-winning, major piece of theatre, and Amy is very serious about her theatre ambitions. I'm her mom, her #1 fan, but I truly see talent there, so I think exposing her to as much quality theatre as I reasonably can, and allowing her to stretch and grow is so important. This is a wonderful theatre company with excellent, talented directors, and I feel very good about the guidance Amy is receiving at Act3. Amy auditioned, got a call-back, and won a spot in the cast, so I am happy that she is getting this opportunity to learn and grow in something she loves so much.

So. While I would never allow her to be a druggie or a stripper in real life, I am allowing her to play one on the stage. Hmmmm. That sounds so bad. Some will ask why not find another play for Amy - theatre ops are everywhere, and certainly a G-rated show could be found if we looked hard enough. Yes, she passed on several other auditions because this was the show she really wanted. Not Honk! Not Little Women. Not right now, anyway.

Some will be put off by the shock value, but of course, RENT is about so much more than the obviously negative themes of promiscuity, drug use, and immorality - it is also about love and creativity, hope and survival.  Yes, you will laugh, and you will cry. Some of our good friends, however, will stay away from this one, and will probably judge us harshly for participating. But I'm not second-guessing myself on this one. (Just constantly reassuring myself that I did the right thing)  I'm glad Amy has this opportunity. And I'm looking forward to opening night.

Amy and I have discussed all of this. I won't go into all that, but she gets it, she is very mature about it, and finds it laughable that some might think she is so shallow as to have her own personal character negatively altered by a character she may play on stage.  I really wish her friends would come out and support her efforts. Sadly, I don't think many will this time.

Well, this turned in to more than a line or two. It is obvious that I am uneasy about how our good Christian friends are going to feel about the fact that Amy is performing in a "for mature audiences only" musical. I find myself feeling like I must explain when I get those raised eyebrows. It is a credit to Amy that she stood out among the many auditioning and impressed the directors enough to secure this role, and I am proud of her and happy she is a part of it.  Even if our friends don't want to see it, I hope they will understand why she is doing it. This is theatre. This is what Amy lives for. She is a happy girl. And, as I said, I'm her biggest fan! Here's to la vie boheme - on stage, if not real life. :)

(Sigh)   About the rest of us, and the rest of it - well, some other time!

What would you do - if you had a 14 year old daughter who wanted to audition for RENT would you allow it?


Sara said...

Break a leg, Amy! I'm sure she will do great! RENT is one of my favorites. What a great opportunity for her. Yes, I'm sure as her parent you thought long and hard about having her take part in this particular show. But you know, you ARE her parent. You know HER best and you know WHAT'S best. Your friends will feel however they wish and then, hopefully they will get over it. Unless you solicited an opinion, then they should keep theirs to themselves. *stepping down off my soapbox*

I got your back--even if it is from clear up here in Indy. ;)
Enjoy the show. I'm sure someday I'll be saying "I virtually knew that girl way back when."

giftsofthejourney said...

I agree with Sara! You're the mother and she's your daughter and frankly having seen RENT four or five times myself, I think one of the overriding things a young person might take away from the show is how destructive certain decisions can be and the life long consequences of those choices.

Enjoy the show and try not to worry about what your friends will think.

Lori said...

Thanks for the comments, Sara and GOTJ. You are right, and I will enjoy the show and in the end not worry about other opinions. (I've always worried far too much about what others think, and that is clearly one of my many faults that I should address, but anyway...) My biggest concern is that Amy will lose friends over this because of over-protective parents who will now see her as a "bad influence" on their children because of her role in this "mature audiences" production. Amy and I have discussed this, and we are ready to deal with whatever comes.

Amy is doing a fantastic job with her role, this is a very talented cast, and it's going to be great!
You are right, GOTJ, about the lessons that young people can take away from this show. I hope some of her friends will come, but I am sure Amy is gaining valuable experience, and that is what matters most to me.

Thanks again for your comments!