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Musings on m
y life as a busy opera singer, voice teacher, photographer and mom - not necessarily in that order! I consider myself immensely fortunate to have carved out a way of doing all of these things which mean so much to me - it may sometimes get a little crazy, but it's always worth it. Welcome to the madhouse!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Arthur Dent was right

"I never could get the hang of Thursdays", says Arthur Dent in Douglas Adams's Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

This past Thursday was a perfect example.

While working on this production is a complete, utter and absolute thrill and joy, Thursday was THAT rehearsal (hereafter known as TR). I have noticed over the years that EVERY production seems to have one rehearsal where nothing feels right: it can be something vocal, it can be memory, it can be a piece of staging that won't work the way it needs to, or perhaps some kind of tension on the set (not even necessarily involving me) that makes the day uncomfortable.

While this is never fun, I find I'm always slightly relieved when TR hits, because I've learned over the years it's an invevitable part of the process and is actually a very positive thing in the long run. TR almost always prompts everybody to go home and think about how things can work better; I know for me personally it's usually the point where I identify some very specific things I need to do to improve my own performance and, as in most things, once problems have been identified, solutions can be found. So, despite that it can make for a difficult day, it's ultimately a good thing and while I can't say I "enjoy" it, I know that it's "normal" (!?) and just work with it and through it as necessary.

In any case, this past Thursday was that day.

It was also the day that Tragedy struck at home in the life of our Junior Drama Queen (I admit it - she comes by it honestly!): her new and beloved Flip camera disappeared. I arrived home distracted and tired after aforementioned TR to find full-blown panic in sway as she realised it wasn't where she thought it was. We're still looking for the camera but so far, nothing (there's a good chance it's "somewhere" in her room - never tidy at the best of times! - and my best guess is that it's been put into or fallen inside something else so we're turning the space upside down to see if we can find it).

But I never know quite how to respond to these things. As a parent, how far does one press "it's your own fault - look after your things" when a much-loved - if highly disorganised - child is beyond miserable? We've all lost things of value in our lives - how much does one comfort and offer sympathy, and how much does one hold the line and use it as a teaching moment? I just hope she can find the camera - she's been taking such pleasure from it, and it's definitely hard on the parental heart to know how upset she is and not really be able to do anything about it.

Then again, maybe this is the real-life version of That Rehearsal; maybe she needs to go through this process of identifying the problem - for HERSELF - to find a solution. In any case, I'm impressed with her growing maturity as she continues to look for it, and makes her own sensible suggestions as to how to proceed. I hope that her attitude - wise beyond her years, really - is rewarded by a triumphant discovery of the camera in an unlikely corner!

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