Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Some Are Born Great
I witnessed the birth of a star this afternoon. It was the first time I'd been allowed to see my son perform in Twelfth Night. The theatre was virtually empty; just a handful of parents were able to come to the dress rehearsal. But the student actors were as professional as if it was a regular show. I was so impressed with the way everyone in the cast handled themselves on stage. The young men and women got into their roles and delivered their lines so well.
Then it was intermission. I spoke with a few of the parents, gathering names and contact information so that we could exchange photographs and work together on the parent booster club.
Some asked which child was mine.
"Malvolio," I said.
"Oh, he's very good!" they said.
"This is his first play," I said.
They were surprised.
One mother asked "Is it true that he's a freshman?"
"Yes," I said.
They were even more surprised.
Some time in the past year and a half, my little boy's height had shot up - to almost 6 feet.
And his high little boy voice had dropped down - to a low, manly voice.
I have seen a helluvalotta theatre in my two score and some years. This child has, too. We've taken him to Shakespeare plays and other theatre productions since he was 4. I've heard him mimic actors for years, nailing their intonations and accents. It is no surprise to me that he can deliver Malvolio's lines with such tremendous ability.
This is my tiny baby, my little smiling rowdy boy, my shy middle schooler. I am astounded that he is willing to cast off all inhibitions and let his light shine in front of his peers.
He is brilliant.
I still have a recording of his little boy voice as a message on my cell phone. Every once in a while, Verizon makes me confirm that I want to keep saving my old messages. Yeah, I'll be saving that one forever.