Being a pushy stage mum is far more time consuming than I expected, and a lot more stressful.
There really was a lot to be said for casually enquiring, from time to time, whether my daughter was ready for the next audition and how her singing, or her monologue, was coming along.
Now, suddenly I’m stressing about who is the best teacher; dragging around to consultations and rehearsals; and imposing a practice schedule that I seem to be more committed to than her.
In my humble position as supportive, but unassuming fanclub type mum, I had always held my tongue and bowed to the greater knowledge of … well, everyone. After the England audition debacle I decided to own my power (and take responsibility for where my money is going) and speak out.
Specifically, I’ve never been a big fan of her vocal coach – I always felt as though she was failing to access my daughter’s inner superstar. Under the tutelage of her high school teachers, with the right song and the right direction, she would shine; but this particular coach never seemed to bring out that sparkle. She also let her pick songs that just didn’t suit her voice (and even worse, she didn’t seem to notice.)
Long story short – we have divested ourselves of this particular coach. During the process of selecting a replacement, we also received some very good news – specifically that I was right.
The coach we picked, with whom she made an instant connection, and who came highly recommended, immediately said that she is not actually an alto, and that the songs she was singing were completely wrong for her voice. (Yay Mum!)
Now she has brand new songs and auditions looming. Between that and boy troubles it’s like living in the middle of a soap opera.
If I’m going to survive this, I’m going to have to learn to observe and empathize without making myself personally responsible for fixing everything. And if I work out how to do that, I’ll write a bestseller about it.