Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Star Is Born

Yesterday was a big day for Sonya at school.  Every year the second graders do a performance of the musical, The Jungle Book.  As with most plays, there are some major speaking parts, smaller speaking parts, and then then there is the chorus. They don't have speaking parts, but are very important to the musical because they add most of the singing.  I've mentioned before that I originally moved out to Los Angeles to act.  In fact, I've loved performing since I was a kid.  I would try to find whatever theater I could do, which was mostly school related.  Andy was also involved in theater and has always loved acting.  In fact it was his original major in college.  So you would think this post would be about "Sonya-star of the second grade play!"   Except no.  Turns out she did not get that love of the spotlight from us.

At the beginning of the school year, one day when I picked her up, she was completely distraught.  

"I don't know WHAT I'm going to do!" She said, as she climbed into the van.

"Why?" I asked concerned. "What happened?"

"Well, the second grade has to do the play The Jungle Book," she told me.

"Oh that's fun!" I said recalling that I had heard about this the year before.

"No, it's not!" She told me.  "I am only going to be an elephant or a leaf, because those parts don't say anything.  I don't want to say anything because I am NOT one for performing!!"

Huh.  I thought perhaps I should do a DNA check to make sure we had brought the right baby home from the hospital, since Andy and I were very much ones for performing.  Then again, perhaps when you have two people who like to perform it creates the opposite effect for the offspring.  Although, I'm sure this won't be true for Lana.  

"Sonya," I said calmly to her.  "Don't worry about it right now.  It's not until later on in the yea, and I'm sure if you don't want a speaking part they won't give you one."  


She wasn't sure whether to believe me or not, but accepted it for the time being.  Then came auditions in February.  We had been listening to the CD of all the music in the play for a month and she knew most of the songs.  Then out of nowhere she said to me,

"I think I'm going to try for the part of the big elephant."

"But doesn't that part have lines?" I asked.

"Yeah, but it's not that much." She told me.  "I just definitely, do NOT want to be the panther or the Mowgli.  And definitely not the snake!"

Those, of course, were the main parts.  The parts that, when I was her age, would have done everything in my seven year old power to get.  Not her though. Nope.  She just wanted a few lines as the big elephant, and if she didn't get that she was fine with being a chorus member.  

A few days later she came home ecstatic because the teachers had given her the part of the big elephant, or Colonel Hathi as he, now a she, was called.  

Over the next couple months she would practice her lines when I wasn't paying attention.  I kept trying to run them with her, but she never wanted to and would get embarrassed.  I finally convinced her one day to do it, telling her that it would help her memorization.  Reluctantly, she did.  It was only a few lines and she knew most of them already.  I will say I helped her make a few adjustments, which I'm sure greatly helped her performance.  Or she just still did it the way she wanted it to.  Who can tell in 2nd grade?

She would come home from school and tell me about the days they would practice at school and how she was doing.  She told me how she learned to "cheat" to the audience so she was talking to the other performers, but still performing to the audience.  She, it seemed to me, was having a great time.

Then yesterday morning was the day of the show.  Andy took the morning off so he could be there too.  It started at 10:15.  She was nervous when she left for school but excited for us to see it.  Right before she left for school a little before 9am, Georgia started complaining of feeling dizzy and climbed into her bed.  Uh-oh.  Precursor to a migraine.  SHIT!  Then came the "I'm going to frow up!"  SHIT SHIT!  

"No, you're not.  Breathe!  You're fine!" I tried.

Yeah, except she wasn't fine and threw up in her bed.  


I knew this was just the beginning and she was bound to throw up again over the next few hours.  So I had to figure out what to do.  Option one: One of us stays home with her, missing the play and disappointing Sonya, not to mention ourselves.  Nope,  I had to find a better one.  Option two-we bring GG and put her in the stroller.  I would stand at the back of the auditorium and when she feels the frow up coming on, I wheel her out.  At least we'd be there, but I'm sure we wouldn't make many friends that way.  Option three-hope that my neighbor doesn't have work until the afternoon and then beg him to babysit.  Fortunately, he didn't have to leave until noon, and no begging was needed.  Victor is awesome and was more than willing to help out.  We were all able to go to the play, minus migrainy Georgia.  

I don't know why, but every time I go to any of these performances with the girls I want to cry as soon as I see them.  Yesterday was no exception.  When I saw Sonya up there on the stage with her elephant ears and makeup, I got choked up.  I kept my eyes on her almost the entire time, and when it was time for her part,  she was fantastic!  She remembered her lines, she spoke loud and she did indeed cheat out to the audience.  And she didn't just say her lines, but said them with feeling.  She performed.  It was incredible!  Okay, I may be biased, and the little girl in her class who played Bagheera, might really have a career in acting, but Sonya was definitely one of the best up there.  We were so proud of her.  The whole show was so cute.  Even Lana was entertained the entire time and didn't ask once, "Is it almost over?"  

After the play was over, she came bounding down the stage steps to find us.  She was grinning from ear to ear and was pumped on some serious adrenaline.  I know well what that feels like.  It's one of the reasons I loved performing so much.  

"Great job, Sonya!  We loved it!  You did great!" Andy and I told her.

"Did you have fun?" Andy asked.

 "Yeah!  It was great!" She was beaming. 

 She was getting well wishes from all the parents around her.  She had done well and loved every minute of it.  Perhaps she WAS one for performing after all.  The good new is, at least we don't have to go to far if she does decide she wants to do more.  

Sonya as Colonel Hathi in the middle in front of the microphone.

Elephant Sonya and her best friend Gwen as a leaf.  Those are Sonya's flowers FYI.  Not sure how Gwen got the picture with them.  

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