The World is a Stage

 

Like most 9 year old girls, my daughter is going through that emotional and sometimes awkward pre-puberty time. She isn’t an athlete like a lot of her friends, and gave up horseback riding over a year ago when a fall scared her into a permanent pause.  I worried about her finding a hobby that could truly help her grow as a person and give her an outlet for her creativity and bubbly personality.

Theater was something I always enjoyed as a child, I remember going to theater camps at Sawyer’s age and finding it to be not only good exercise but a way for me to express myself that wasn’t writing related.  Full disclosure I can’t sing to save my life (well, unless we’re talking gangster rap of course) or dance so I was pretty confident that theater would be nothing more than recreational over school breaks, but for Sawyer, I hoped it might be something more.

Two years ago we signed both the kids up for a theater camp at a local community theater that we had heard wonderful things about. It was a week long camp, and at the end, the kids put on a performance. I expected very little after a week, other than a major cuteness factor. My son did not disappoint, in his “Three Little Bears” costume, arguing with his best friend over lowering the microphone. Everyone got a good laugh.  Then Sawyer got on the stage and spoke her one line. Yes, it was only one line, but I looked at her and thought – wow. She’s never been on a stage, or acted, yet she knew to speak loudly, she knew to be dramatic and she exuded such a confidence that I was taken aback a little.

Fast forward three camps later, her parts in these performances got larger and so did her personality. She was Flounder from Little Mermaid, Snow White (which literally gave me chills) and a Harem Girl from Alladin. Each, she poured herself into as if she was performing on Broadway.

We added voice lessons to her weekly routine and a monologue class — long story short, theater has become her life. Last summer she was in the Mainstage performance of Music Man at her theater, and is currently a monkey in Jungle Book…up next…Shrek auditions. She asks to go to every play in town, we have seen Les Miserables, Matilda, West Side Story and soon will see Little Mermaid.  (Fingers crossed we get those hard to come by Hamilton tickets in 2018!)

Sawyer’s voice is beautiful, she really works hard to improve it, and she can dance. That makes ONE person in this house (although Garrett thinks he’s pretty fly for a white guy).

Theater is such an amazing activity for kids. It allows them to blend pieces of themselves with characters that may be nothing like them. It’s a great escape from the realities of homework, changes in friends, changes in schools — it gives them a place to feel like they can let loose and have fun. And Sawyer’s theater friends are some of the most supportive kids I’ve ever met. There is zero competition within their group, they are so happy for each other and genuinely want the others to succeed. I feel like Sawyer’s Directors and Choreographers have treated her with so much respect and made her feel she can do anything. And that belief in her is a great extension of her family who could not be more proud.

Looking back I realize that theater is a terrific precursor to many careers.  I may not be an actress, but presenting in front of clients is something I did regularly as an Advertising Copywriter, and being self assured in those situations is a skill I am grateful for.

Whatever Sawyer decides to do in her life, I am glad that when she needed something to help her shine and motivate her to express herself in big ways, that theater came along. It’s the perfect stepping stone to whatever huge production her life becomes.

One Comment

  1. Mom and Dad March 29, 2017 Reply

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