Yesterday, our daughter auditioned for the role of Marta in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sydney production of the Sound of Music.Marta is the second youngest of the Von Trapp children and Miss almost looks like a carbon copy of the original movie version played by Debbie Turner. So, it was very easy to picture her up there on stage under the big lights…especially when I’d seen her play Gretal/Marta in a performance with her musical theatre class.
Here’s my previous post: The House is Alive With the Sound of Music: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/the-house-is-alive-with-the-sound-of-music/
For an entire week, we were living the dream, without any of the drawbacks and it was out of this world! During this time, I imagined Miss up there on the big stage and sitting in my seat at the Capital Theatre with such incredible pride. I could almost jump on top of my seat and shout out: “That’s my girl!” Embarrassing I know but who wouldn’t be just exploring with pride seeing their child up there?
As much as we had our hopes and dreams, we were also very philosophical about her chances. The odds might have been better than winning Lotto but only marginally. However, as long as you’re in the running, there’s still that chance and that chance no matter how small, can fuel a dream, a desire, a hope!
There were, however, two sure-fire ways to get eliminated before the auditions even began:
- Being the wrong height.
- Being late.
Being late…for us this was the greatest threat of all. It didn’t matter if she could sing like a lark, if she was even one minute late, that was IT! Gone!
So, so with the audition being at 9.45 on a Monday morning and needing to arrive half an hour beforehand, we were needing to wake up with the crows and I wasn’t about to trust Sydney traffic or Sydney trains with my precious cargo.
Rather, I recruited the assistance of “The Godfather” who lives about 15-30 minutes drive from the Entertainment Quarter where the auditions were being held, which is right next to the Sydney Cricket Ground.
It just so happens that the Godfather is a Major in the Army Reserve and we made a few jokes about Miss being too intimidated to take him on in uniform. However, the uniform wasn’t a joke. When he appeared for breakfast, indeed, he was in uniform…just the thing to get us moving. Even I wasn’t game to run late…not even a few minutes, although I’m sure I’ve left him waiting many times over the years.
This was just what we needed.
Indeed, I could use a military escort to get my kids to school every single morning…and a cornet blasting them in the eardrum: “Wake up!”
So, as you can see, we had a military escort to the audition and not only were we there on time, we were early enough to celebrate with a cappuccino and steaming banana bread.
At this point, we spotted our first other “Marta” sitting with her Mum at the cafe and we also spotted a few “Men in Black”. Now, I was really starting to know we’d arrived in something like movie land. We might have been on the very outer perimeter, barely dipping our big toes in the water but we’d now been drawn into its orbit and I wanted to savour each and every second of it.
Checking the time yet again, I decide it’s time to set of in search of the Brent Street Studios, where the auditions are being held. Of course, I’d allowed plenty of time to get lost… just in case. However, I decide to ask the men in black for directions. Sure, the fact that they were dressed all in black didn’t guarantee that they’re in the industry but the bet paid off.
We were on our way. At this point, we are surrounded by Gretels and Martas and their Mums…even a baby in a pram with a toddler hanging on as a fluffy, white Samoyed runs around through the crowd. There are even a few contenders dressed up in Austrian national dress.
I pause to take Miss’s photo out the front. She’s not very enthusiastic and I guess it looks a bit uncool posing for Mum…even if she has a great camera. Maybe also because you’re sick to death of posing for Mum and that @#$% camera and just for once, go somewhere and just be left alone.
She begrudgingly submits. She knows how persistent I can be!
We make our way to the desk to pick up a form. Name, height, Agent. Humph. Our daughter doesn’t have an agent and in retrospect, if this whole process wasn’t so serious, perhaps I should have written down:
Agent: Maxwell Smart.
Next, she had to get measured and you could see all the mums anxiously holding their breath, as their child stood barefoot against the tape. With kids, all it could take is one quick growth spurt and they’d be out. Miss has always tended to grow in a more gradual way and is “petite”. However, we have beefed up her nutrition significantly lately and I was concerned that all our efforts to help her grow, might have been counter-productive in this instance. I’m pretty sure she needed to be 130-135cm tall and as I held my breath and crossed my fingers, she came in with just 1.5 centimetres to spare.
On time and the right height…she was still in with a chance.
Being 45 minutes early at this point, we heard names called out and watched groups of 15 girls disappear behind closed doors, reappear and disappear. I chatted to a few of the other mums and they were all really normal people and their families were either just having a punt or doing it for the experience.There were none of those “stage Mums” that you hear about with the beauty pageants what with the perfect makeup, hair and fingernails. I’m actually wondering at the moment that if you child is really interested in things like dance, drama, singing, musical performance, a true stage mum is anything but glamorous as all your money and effort is being poured into your child and you’ll be lucky top get a haircut…let alone a leg wax. Speaking of wax, I didn’t hear any mums wax lyrically about their precious Shirley Temple…just as well!
All too soon, her name is called out and Miss disappears. The audition was something of an anti-climax and all they had to do was sing one line of Do Re Mi as a group. Of course, I wasn’t allowed in so this all went on behind closed doors but I did catch a glimpse inside the inner sanctum on the news tonight.
Miss returns and we find out she wasn’t called back. Indeed, none of the girls in her group were called back.
Oh well! It was always going to be a long shot…especially as she’s still working on her vocal nodules.
She enjoyed the audition though. Said it was fun and wants to keep auditioning for future shows. I think that’s a good thing, even though this has been such a whirlwind. After all, this was something that seemingly came out of left field and wasn’t something we were consciously working towards, even though she is doing musical theatre. However, sense that a new chapter is unfolding and this was quite a meaningful step forward.
We were also conscious that there were going to be some big sacrifices if she’d got the role. Of course, we would have worked these things out and there’s no way I would’ve killed her dream. At the same time, her brother starts high school next year and that’s a big step where he’ll need us. Miss is also singing with her school choir in two upcoming concerts and if she’d got the role, she’d have to pull out. That would have been a real disappointment and these are her long term friends… our community. Moreover, rehearsing for these concerts will really give her a good idea of the hard work and discipline involved without the pressure…as well as the fun…and we are thrilled she has these opportunities.
At the same time, I must admit I was a little disappointed that she wasn’t called back. After all, I am her Mum!
So, with a day off school, the day was but young. We caught the bus into the city and we took the lift right up to the top of Centrepoint Tower to look right over the top of Sydney. My daughter was going up in the world…even if that meant overcoming her fear of heights.
We are ever so proud of our incredibly gutsy girl!
Stay tuned for our big day out!