Monday, August 28, 2006

Auditions Again

Further proof that summer is over is the beginning of a new session of children's musical theater!

After a week spent preparing for the Friday night auditions for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (a musical), Bantam 11 and Blondechick 13 had the best auditions they've ever had. She sang, danced and acted out "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story; he performed "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" from Annie, complete with cane, top hat and--of course--a smile. (We were so thankful for the help of our actor/director friend Ray, who showed Bantam 11 some "basic cane moves" like kicking the cane as you swing it up to your shoulder--it made Bantam 11 look great!)

I was thankful to be able to see their auditions before I had to hop in the car and drive two long hours to a retreat for our church's vestry (the leadership board). It was a long drive to this home/retreat center, but it was worth it, even for an under 24-hour meeting; it was such a beautiful, restful place. Our time there was filled with great discussion of the unique calls God has placed upon our church and how we are spending our resources of time, energy and dollars toward fulfilling those calls. It was a joy to seek the Lord together with this team of gifted yet humble leaders.

I went to bed wondering if the kids had been called back for any singing or dancing roles--the call usually comes at nearly midnight, after the directors have had time to go over their notes on 100 kids, give or take. Saturday morning I called home--and found that both of them had been called back for singing, dancing and reading! They didn't know what roles they were being considered for yet, but when I called home again, on my 2-hour drive home, I heard all about it. Blondechick 13 sang and read for the White Witch, and Bantam 11 read for an animal part--the Bull--and sang something they had all the boys sing. Neither of them were holding their breaths that they would actually get these parts, as they were competing with mostly older, more experienced performers, but they really enjoyed themselves at callbacks.

The hardest part of auditions was still to come--the waiting! Fortunately, we had dinner plans with another family whose kids are almost all grown and who know all the best movies from bygone eras--they introduced us to The North Avenue Irregulars, a Disney comedy in which the star is a Presbyterian minister turned crimebuster.

On Sunday morning our whole family attended another AMIA church where Papa Rooster served as supply priest for the day. He handled the whole service beautifully, and they loved his sermon, taken from the John 6 lectionary reading, on the Eucharist. His parents and his brother's family--who live in Chicago--also attended with us; we all had lunch and spent the afternoon together in his brother's family's charming bungalow, which they're restoring so beautifully.

Our reason for gathering--besides the fact that we just don't see Aunt and Uncle often enough--was to celebrate the men's birthdays, which all fall in August. We had tried to plan a date earlier in the month, but the timing was of the Lord, because on Friday, as we were counting down the hours till auditions, Papa Rooster's parents got the news that Grandpa has a ping-pong ball-size tumor in his abdomen, and that it is cancer. It looks very contained and it should be a straightforward surgery to remove it. There is still a small matter of concern that showed up in the tests which we will learn more about soon.

So it was especially good timing for us to be together, laughing, joking, eating, drinking and listening to music, just as we always do. Aunt and Uncle had invited a photographer friend to join us and--whether they had asked him to or whether he just offered, I don't know--but he thoughtfully took a family picture of us all, photos of our individual families, and individual shots of Grandpa with each of his grandkids, as well as many candids. What a blessing those photos will undoubtedly be.

While we were at Aunt and Uncle's, we kept checking our theater group's website for the cast list to be posted--and finally it appeared. Bantam 11 is one of the Evil Narnians; it appears he could be a Wolf, a Dwarf or an Ogre, depending on what costume fits, I bet. He's happy; all he really wanted was to be in a fighting scene! Blondechick 13 is a Cruelie, another Evil Narnian. The Cruelies do a really cool and difficult dance to sinister music, and she didn't think her dance audition went well enough to land her a spot in that scene, so she was pleased. (She just hopes her costume and makeup aren't too ugly.) One of her good friends got the White Witch, and she's genuinely happy for her.

So, another character-building audition experience is behind us. I always pray that my kids will get the role that is best for them, fully aware that it may not be a lead role! Dealing with our own disappointment, rejoicing in the good fortune of another, submitting to authority and accepting our situation are all great life-lessons for them.

Thanks so much for your prayers for my father-in-law, if you are able. And for you who could actually attend The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the shows are October 6, 7, 13 and 14th...so let me know when you and some friends wanna come!

Now, back to our nearly-completed first day of school...!

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Any more info about "Grandpa's" condition? First we'd heard was in Sunday's Prayers of the People. He is very dear to us - indeed to everyone who knows him!