Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Daughter, the Actress

The best acting is instinctive. It's not intellectual, it's not mechanical, it's instinctive. -Craig MacDonald

Last week my daughter tried out for a play our church is planning for Christmas. The hopefuls were given three different readings from which they could pick. My daughter went for the one based on  "Clue."

Now our neighbors go to the same church. Their daughter is best friends with the Princess—I think I will call her "Angel" here. The father was one of the judges who watched the auditions for the play.

"They were only given ten minutes to look over the reading," he told us. His eyes widen to emphasize how amazed he was to watch her not just read, but actually act it out. He told us that he was so caught up in her acting that he made himself close his eyes just so he could focus on her voice and the inflections: "She acted it out! From a cold read! And she is only fourteen!"

So, of course, the child had gotten the lead. I was not at all surprised actually. I have always known she is a performer and acting is as natural to her as walking—she gets that from me (the only reason I did not get the lead in a high school play was because the other girl looked the part more and the drama teacher told me I was the better actress but he felt he could work with her). We have done skits with the Princess for church and she acted out a poem for one of her piano recitals and she was Pontius Pilate in the traditional Easter play a few months ago. However, I feel this is the first time she has really auditioned. Of course, this is not an actors' group with real least, not yet.

I write that because this time the actors of all ages are not just learning lines, positions, and donning costumes. The woman who is heading this up actually has taught and is teaching them about acting. My daughter's assignment was to write out a background for her character and to try different accents that match the background.

Wow! Not at all what I expected for a church play with a modernized Christmas story. My daughter is one of the three wise men, which are lawyers in this play—a stretch, I know: lawyers being wise men. I just knew it had to be a comedy and it is.

So, my daughter did not know that we knew. She told us she was in the play but would not tell us about her part. She said she wanted it to be a surprise. She told us her friend is the part she wanted, the angel; she always wants the angel part so that is why I am going to call her Angel here. She told us about the play, but nothing about her part, so we teased her about it, saying that she was probably just a sheep. This went on all afternoon.

Eventually, she told us that we would not believe it if she told us and that we would not be proud of her. We told her that we were certain that she would be the very best sheep. Then she wanted permission to something and I said not until she tells me the truth. So she blurted out that she got the lead...and I said, "Uh-uhh. Now tell what you really got."

"I told you that you would not believe me!"

That was worth another five minutes before we told her that we had known since we talked to Angel's father after church.

So, now the work begins....

My Lord, it is wondrous to see my daughter's talents not only blossoming but also being recognized. Thank you for guiding her.


Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.