This past summer, right after Sam got the part in The Addams Family, he was asked to come to NY to audition for the part of Ralphie in A Christmas Story the Musical on Broadway. We were going there anyway, to take Sam to camp at Stagedoor Manor, so we went a day early for the audition. He went in and sang and they asked him to miss the first day of camp and come back for a callback the next day. Oh, and could he bring his tap shoes?
Well, he had no tap shoes. Or any formal tap lessons. So, a little stunned, we took a taxi to get him tap shoes. We were so excited, we left our backpacks with all our important documents in the cab. Then we ran around trying to find him a tap lesson, and because it is NY, we found a place and he went in for a lesson. The people in the class were Broadway dancers, and so, defeated, we moved on. A dancer from Phoenix heard about our situation and came to our hotel that night and gave Sam a tap lesson, in the stairwell of the Holiday Inn Express.
And then, at 8 p.m. on a Sunday night, we went to a very nice, random guy’s apartment in NY for a voice lesson, because they wanted him to know the music for the callback.
That callback led to 6 more, including one in which I had to leave him in the city alone, to take a flight back to AZ, to make sure that my daughter got off to sleepover camp ok. I had hired a driver to take Sam to camp after the callback. When I landed, my first call was to the camp to find out if he actually made it.
Last night a wrench was thrown into my perfect planning of this tour. Another week of rehearsals in NY, and I didn’t realize it, mostly because I’ve never done this before and didn’t know what some of the lingo meant. The company manager (by the way, this is a new term for me too: this is the person who you call with every question under the sun), told me they’d help me figure it out.
There is no guidebook for all this stuff. If you haven’t heard, stage mothers are not the most helpful people when it comes to career advice. I called some moms from around the country who had done this before, and most of them were wary to give me any advice. They are mostly concerned that your kid is going to steal a part from their kid. Most of my closest friends here in AZ are fellow stage moms, and I’m always glad to share what I’ve learned with others, either here or anywhere else.
And today I will spend my day 1)registering Sam for homeschool 2)figuring out how to homeschool 3)filing tax returns for my 11 year old 4)filling out work permits for Sam to work in 48 states 4)setting up trust accounts so that I don’t steal his money ala Gary Coleman, while alternatively trying to figure out how to fund a lot of the flights back and forth for family & friends without actually stealing his money.
My 4 year old today asked me if I’m sad I don’t get to go to school to learn new stuff every day. I told him that life is my school and I do learn how to do new things every day. Starting a new business, a new job, taking on new responsiblities, making new decisions for your family and for yourself; these are things we are constantly learning on a daily basis.
So, whether it’s learning to tap dance in the stairwell of the Holiday Inn or figuring out where the Department of Education in Arizona is actually located, we are all learning new things every day. It’s what you do with that information that is the most important.