So over Christmas, while skiing in Big White I came across a facebook post announcing an upcoming production of Willie Wonka. I have been a closet musical fanatic since I first saw Les Miserables in London at the age of 12. Having successfully auditioned for the Victoria Choral Society and still high on the performance of Handel’s Messiah the week before, I boldly seized my audition date and time. The moment I had hit send on my confirmation email I had the first of what would prove to be many moments of “what the hell did I just do?”. However the audition date was weeks away so I put it out of my mind and got back to skiing and overindulging in Christmas chocolates.
So today we watched a video today called Most Likely to Succeed. It was a very interesting perspective on the failure of the Education system to modernize. It discussed the fact that the education system in use today was based very heavily on the creation ideas of the famous four, Carnegie, Ford, Slater and another who realized the vast potential of
So it’s Thursday January 10th at 7 pm and I am sitting in a tiny backroom of the Four Season’s Theatre House. The result of my poorly thought out Christmas impulse to subject myself to this terror. I have been desperately trying to memorise the words to a Disney musical I knew by heart before I decided that sharing it with a group of complete strangers struck me as a good idea. There are people everywhere and apparently the first lesson of theatre is this “personal space is luxury, starving artists can neither afford not apparently require” SHIT. I have dragged my dear sweet Persephone to the alter of public display in the hopes of sharing this beautiful experience with my little song and dance girl however I am literally only still sitting here because I can’t admit to my daughter that I am scared out of my mind. A little Oompa Loompa hopeful has just emerged from behind the audition door, with tears streaming down his face as his mother ushers her tiny sobbing progeny from the room and then they call my sweet little 6 year old (whom I have been holding myself together for the sake of appearances) into the audition room and my blood runs cold. I will kill whoever is behind that door if they utter one word of negativity to my sweet girl. I gently ask her if she remembers the song we have been practising and as her pigtails swish past the closing door she announcing over her shoulder “no mumma, I am going to sing a song I just wrote in my head” “CLICK” and the door closes. I have completely forgotten where I am and what I am here for and every ounce of my being is screaming to rescue my poor sweet naive little angel from the clutches of the evils of reality. A lifetime goes by, I can’t hear a thing, I feel like everyone in the room is watching me and suddenly the door opens and my heart stops. My beautiful ray of sunshine pops out from under the stage managers arm and glowing states “Nailed it” I don’t know whether I want to laugh cry or throw up but I don’t have time to think about it because I can hear the stage manager calling my name and I can tell from her tone it isn’t the first time she’s called me. I jump up, forgetting all my plans for breathing exercises and mental focusing and vocal warm-ups and announce with a comical croak “present”. I am a Pavlovian idiot. Insert Fore head slap here. Pria hops up onto the bench next to me and starts discussing the various skills she has learned in the last three minutes that are sure to be of benefit to her imminent “rock star career” to an elderly woman who is practising the warm-up drills I was supposed to be doing while I was busy hyper-ventilating my way through her audition. My chest constricts and I give my Pria my best mummy’s got this smile and she smiles back like she actually believes me. I walk past the stage manager into the open room where I am confronted with eight adults seated along a table, staring at me. I think to myself, what kind of mother subjects her child to this but before I can continue berating myself for my obvious failure as a mother the ever positive stage manager introduces the ‘panel’ to me in a voice that would make an auctioneer proud and I just stand there smiling. At least I think I am smiling, they just stare at me and I suddenly can’t remember how to curve my lips into a smile so I think I am just grimacing. Suddenly some fellow who’s name I forgot before I heard the last syllable of it asks me pleasantly “so what are you going to sing for us today?” My mouth goes dry, I cannot remember how to breath let alone the name of the song I have been practising for the last three days straight. I stand there grinning / grimacing and fumble with my sheet music. Kill me now!