Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow....

Hello everyone!  Christmas has been kicking my ass this year, which is why it's been radio silence for a month from this blog.  However, I have so many stories in my head that I had to get at least one out now.  So, I decided to do this instead of address my Christmas cards.  They might not go out until after Christmas at this point.  Whatever.  Hopefully I will have some down time over the next couple weeks and be able to write a few more stories.  This one happens to be about the latest star in our family, Sonya.

At the beginning of the school year all three girls signed up to be in the school musical.  A production of "Annie".  My friend, Elisa, who helped to bring the musical program to our school, swore Sonya would play Annie.  I was hesitant and doubtful for a few reasons.  I've mentioned before that Sonya isn't always one to get up and perform, and certainly not on her own.  She's usually good in groups and has performed as part of the chorus in past musicals, but this-this would be an entire show about her character.  As it turned out Elisa was right and the director did cast Sonya as Annie.  I honestly had no idea how this was going to go down.  

The day Sonya came home and told me she got the part she was ecstatic.  I was happy for her too, but I gently reminded her that this meant she had to sing...alone.  Was she okay with that?  She assured me she was.  I took her for her word, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous for how this was all going to turn out.   I wasn't even sure Sonya could sing well.  I've heard her sing along to songs in the car or in the shower with her sisters and she's certainly not tone deaf, but the lead in a musical is totally different.  I did have to keep in mind that this was a kids musical at elementary school and it wouldn't matter if she wasn't a fantastic singer.   Most of the kids can't sing so well, but the girl who was the lead in past plays, who recently graduated to middle school, had a beautiful voice.  Sonya had a lot to live up to.  

As the semester went on, she and her sisters, who were orphans, went to rehearsals once a week on Tuesdays, leaving me with a very long alone day.  A plus for me!  Andy and I wanted to run lines with her and she was usually hesitant, but she did do it with us a few times.  Although she didn't really need it.  She had her lines down in about the first two weeks.  I was always the same with acting and memorized lines very quickly.  

After about a month, the director gave us a CD for the girls to sing along and practice to.  I would play it in the car and they would go through "Hard Knock Life" and "N.Y.C", but anytime "Maybe" or  "Tomorrow" would come on Sonya would ask me to go to the next song.  She refused to sing alone in front of me. Now I was really starting to become nervous.  Was she going to be horrible?  Not that I would love her any less, but I didn't want her to embarrass herself.  For the life of me I will never understand those parents who encourage their children in a talent they are obviously not good at.  Like all those moms standing outside American Idol insisting the judges don't know what they're talking about, after their precious baby couldn't hit one note.  I refuse to be that mom.  Still, I didn't push.  

Then one morning we were in the kitchen and the girls were helping me clean up after breakfast on a Saturday.  Lana ran into her room to get her CD player and the "Annie" CD so they could practice.  She and Georgia were more than happy to sing in front of us over and over again.  They all went through their group songs again that I had already heard.  Then the beginning of "Maybe" started.  I told Sonya I wanted her to practice it.  So she did, begrudgingly.  All I can tell you is that it's a good thing my back was to them as I stood at the sink to wash dishes, because I was doing everything I could to hold back tears.  Her voice was better than I had ever expected.  After she finished, "Tomorrow" started and I encouraged her to sing that one to, but she told me she already knew it and moved on. 

The day of the show, Sonya was a nervous mess most of the day. There was a whole thing about her hair and the wig she had to wear, that she was (excuse the pun) wigging out about.  I did my best to reassure her and tell her it was going to be great and not to worry.  But she was worried.  How could she not be?  Andy and I were kinda right there with her.  The night of the show I was still nervous for her, but at least I felt more confident in her ability.  However, I wasn't quite sure how it was going to turn out.  Perhaps "Maybe" was the only song she could sing?  What if she forgot her lines?  As Andy and I sat in the audience, listening to the overture, waiting for the curtain to open, he leaned over and said,

"I can't do this.  I can't watch this."

"Me neither, " I told him.  "I feel like I'm going to throw up."

Having both done theater ourselves, we knew what she was feeling and we seemed to be channeling  that into a parental way.  

Within the first five minutes I knew this was going to be great and she was going to be awesome.  And I know I'm biased, but you guys she so was.  Not to mention the fact that I cried for about the first fifteen minutes as well.  This time I just let it go when she sang "Maybe".  Listening to "Tomorrow" wasn't any better for my mascara.   I can't forget about my little girls.  Lana had a couple lines she delivered beautifully and she and Georgia knew their dance steps and their songs spot on.  However, Sonya was the star.  Rightfully so, since she was Annie.  

After the show and for a week later, I had parents coming to me telling me how amazing she was and how beautiful her voice was and how long had I had her in voice lessons?  Ummm...never.  A few people told me I needed to help her pursue a singing career, but to be honest, as much as she liked doing it and had a great time, this is not something she has a bug for.  Well not yet anyway.  Who knows what the future will bring, but for now she's just a ten year old kid having fun singing and acting in an elementary school musical.  I'm not calling Broadway just yet.  But in the meantime you can check her out and see what you think.  I am so incredibly proud of the job she and her sisters did. It was one of those moments as a parent where you think, Yup.  I helped make this little person and I did damn good.  (So far.)

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