Sunday, December 07, 2014

On Being in the Ensemble

Last Fall my K auditioned & was cast in her first theatrical production. She had an incredible experience as Gretl in the Sound of Music. When my husband & I saw her perform it was clear to us she had found something she loved.

Shortly after the show run was completed, friends told us about an upcoming local production of Beauty & the Beast. They urged K to consider auditioning and told her she would make a terrific Chip. The thought of that role thrilled her and motivated her to go and see the musical in a nearby town. 

The week of the audition, K lost some steam. She had heard how many were auditioning & how much time it would require. The day of the audition arrived and she was still on the fence until two separate encounters with adults involved in the show who urged her to audition. It was just the nudge her confidence needed. 

On the night of the audition we learned that over 100 children from our community had auditioned for about 50 spots. K was called back for the role she wanted. There were 5 children in contention for the part. 

I stayed up until midnight waiting for the list online and then woke her up the next morning with the news. She had indeed been cast, but not as Chip. K had been cast in the ensemble. She had 24 hours to decide if she would accept the part--and the rigorous schedule that she would be committing to--3 nights a week for 3 months and 4-5 nights a week as production time closed in. That's a lot for a precocious, active 10 year old with varied interests!

Although it was not what she had planned and hoped for, K chose to accept the assigned roles with grace. She has worked hard & enthusiastically--and it has been a wonderful learning experience. 

On the surface it seemed like a bummer--sacrificing four months of extracurricular time for a part in the background--but, truly, it was an honor just to be cast. After a few rehearsals, K was selected as the understudy for Chip, which meant additional rehearsals and much more to learn. After all the extra work she will never take the stage as Chip, but we've appreciated the gift of extra coaching and exposure to voice and acting direction. 

Beauty & the Beast opened this weekend and I smiled as my little ensemble member beamed in each of her roles---villager, tea cup, broom and narrator. She wanted one big name part and instead she was given the chance to shine in several 'smaller' roles.

She was able to let go of the role she would have 'chosen' and embrace the ones she was assigned. And I have spent some time reflecting on how even in middle age I struggle with being in the ensemble sometimes. I want to matter. I want to do something big & meaningful for the the world and God says, "how about you play these countless 'small' roles with great enthusiasm instead?" 

Be a member of your community that thinks beyond your own bubble and your own needs. 
Be a Mama that teaches your children to see & love others.
Be a wife that esteems her spouse and supports him as a partner. 
Be a church member that serves where needed. 
Be a neighbor that's not too busy to slow the car, roll down the window and chat. 
Be a follower of the Lord that lets His light shine in the little things of your daily life.

 There is so much to be learned in the ensemble--so many chances to grow and shine.

I am grateful for this first lesson in 'not getting what she wanted' because she's learned a lot about the beauty of being in the ensemble and so have I!


John and Kitty Miller said...

Very good!

Love Being A Nonny said...

Very good words. So proud of your K.

Arlene Grimm said...

Good for K!! It sounds like a great learning experience and it will go on her resume!

Keri said...

What a great experience and lesson for her! I like the parallel to our adult lives too. I've been an ensemble player in my own life for a long time, and I admit to sometimes wanting a bigger role. It can certainly be a challenge at times to stay faithful and work hard in the small roles -- especially when we see others enjoying the benefits of playing larger parts -- but so worthwhile when we can overcome our pride and just settle in and do our best.

Denise Ross said...

What a wonderful experience for K. I hear what you're saying Jen about where you're at now. This is something I struggle with too. I think for me it's the, doing something that matters, but I'm learning that it's the lots of little things that matter especially the legacy I leave with my children.