Friday, August 31, 2007

Charlotte's Web Audition Night

Well, the auditions last night went well! I was so proud of all three of my kids.

As I've said before, our family loves to go for the whole night, watching all 90+ kids audition. It's like one long variety show. There are always the reliably good performers; what performance will they give this time? What song will they sing, what character will they be? It's sure to be a good show.

Then there are the painfully bad ones. Often it's their first time, and they're super-soft, or terribly nervous. Maybe they're boldly tuneless or off-key, or loudly monotone. You still applaud encouragingly for them. It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of a whole church full of people and sing!

Last night's director, in an effort to speed up the process, was trying to get us not to clap after each performance, but wait till the end of a each group of ten. It was impossible. You just couldn't listen to these kids singing and dancing their little hearts out without applauding each performance.

So finally, the area coordinator suggested the one-clap rule: You can clap once, all together, after each performance. We obeyed pretty well, with an occasional whoop of appreciation added in. (That takes no extra time, right?)

Until it came to one little girl's turn. She couldn't get up out of her seat. She sat there crying, shaking her head no, while a painful silence loomed over the sanctuary. Finally, they went on to the next child, and the next, while Mom soothed, comforted, encouraged. Then they offered another chance. The little girl stood up and nearly sat down again, but her mother steadied her and led her to the stage, then actually pushed her, gently, firmly, up the steps.

She turned slowly around. Tears streamed down her face. Words wouldn't come.

We started clapping. Not one clap. Loud, long, encouraging clapping, with a few whistles of encouragement thrown in.

When it died away, she introduced herself in a shaky, teary voice, gulped, gave her age, and named the song she'd be singing. More loud clapping burst from the audience.

Her music began, and this little girl began to smile and sing out and dance a cute little choreographed routine to "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile." (Oh, the irony!) Her voice stopped shaking after the first few notes and she finished with a flourish, a tremulous smile on her face, to wild applause. Forget the one-clap rule; it was not the moment to obey!

I heard later on that the mom appreciated the group's enthusiasm and encouragement as much as the little girl. She told the area coordinator she felt so nauseous she was afraid she was going to be physically sick. I can just imagine the feeling. I know too well how a mother's heart drops straight into her stomach, even at the merest flub.

My heart bounced around like crazy last night, and my kids didn't even blink! Well, Bantam12 sang the second verse twice by accident, and it wasn't his best ever singing performance, although his lines were great. There were so many good kids, though.... Did mine do well enough to get called back?

And there it was on the website this morning. Bantam12 is called back tonight to read for Lurvy, the farmhand, and Blondechick14 is called back for Charlotte and the Goose, the two biggest female parts.

So here's the part where you try not to get your hopes up. There were probably a half-dozen kids called back for each of these parts; only one of them will get the lead. That means the odds are that you won't. Maybe you'll get some lines at least?

The final cast list will be posted at noon tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

6 comments:

Erin said...

Oh that's so sweet! I'm so glad the little girl was able to do her audition with a bang. :)

I hope your kids get in!! I had so much fun reading this post.

Ann V.@HolyExperience said...

Absolutely delightful post, Jeanne! On the edge of my seat, clapping with you too!
And Go, Chicks, Go!--however God directs in this play--it is ALL good!

Much love,
Ann

Anonymous said...

Jeanne,
How fun! I look forward to hearing the cast list and seeing the photos of the show.
Annie

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

OH I LOVE THAT STORY ABOUT THE SHY LITTLE GIRL! I am so happy she overcame with y'all's support. That's just the sweetest! Congrats on the callbacks. I can't wait to find out who gets what part now.

Acting Gal said...

I agree with Erin, that was such a fun post to read! I really hope they all get in the play!

randi---i have to say said...

I love the story of the little girl! I think it is neat that the everyone have her so much encouragement!