Crushed Dreams and Tea With Stephen Fry

Yikes!  Again it’s been weeks since I wrote anything – what happened to all my good intentions?

Looking back I see that I started writing a post about my Choir’s Christmas Concert, which believe me was the cultural event of the season.  Well, it was for me, anyway.  I usually try and go to the Nutcracker with my daughter, but as Christmas crept sneakily up behind me this year, the ‘even finer’ arts failed to make it into my schedule.

Anyway, back to the concert – WOW, a whole day when it was all about me!  Or, at least about me and the 49 other people in the choir.  Either way, we spent the day sequestered in the gym adjacent to a local church, hiding from a sudden and most beautifully seasonal snowfall.  Two performances constituted our 15 minutes of fame, but it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

What a sorry sight I must have been driving around Calgary after that, still singing along to my rehearsal tracks on my blackberry and pretending it wasn’t all over.

Choir started up again in early January, but by then I had left for England with my daughter so she could audition for musical theatre schools over there.  Now I’m expressing an impartial and completely unbiased opinion when I say that she is incredibly talented, and it never occurred to me that they wouldn’t snap her up with excited gratitude.  Unfortunately what we discovered was that the kids she was competing against had years more dance and vocal training than her.

Who would have thought that kids growing up in a city with one of the world’s two largest theatre communities would have access to such sophisticated training?

In the space of a week, as she got rejected over and over, she had her dreams crushed and her confidence stomped underfoot.  Very painful.  Nonetheless, is it awful that there is this dark, secret part of me that is filled with relief that she won’t be moving to another continent at the age of 18, and that we won’t be expected to fork out $75,000, at international student rates, for her to study for a career choice that will probably involve more waitressing than acting?

Still we struggled on and spent 8 fabulous days in London doing London stuff – plays, sightseeing, dim sum in Soho, shopping in Covent Garden.  And we even had afternoon tea with Stephen Fry in one of the more exclusive hotels.  Okay, so maybe Stephen Fry doesn’t know he had tea with us, but I think he was definitely close enough where it counts.

We stayed with my niece in London and my sister joined us for a few days of being girls about town.  Unfortunately, my sister and I spent a fair bit of that time mopping up the tears of young broken hearts … thank goodness for chocolate and pretty fruit flavoured drinks.

Now we’re back to real life and I’m faced with the prospect of digging out my inner stage mum.  I’m creating a rigorous schedule of dance, vocal and audition prep – well at least she drives, I just have to sign the cheques.

What’s next?  Well I’m singing in the talent show for my choir, much against my better judgement.  I’m also thinking piano lessons might be a good next step, which means I should probably acquire a piano.

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