Speak Eagle

Munchkin: To Be or Not to Be?

I hate sharing disappointing news with my kids, especially when they’ve worked hard and have their hearts set on a dream.

I suppose that’s why the American Idol folks have fun with singers who did get through to the next round by prefacing the news with something like, “You’ve got a lot of tough competition here, and we really like you.  But you understand that we can only choose a few people, and not everyone makes it…”

If we’ve lived long enough, we come to expect rejection- being told we aren’t good enough.  That we didn’t make it.  It’s tough.  But that’s life.

As many of you know, my 10-year old auditioned recently to be a munchkin in an upcoming production of the Wizard of Oz with Studio Tenn in June at the Schermerhorn symphony center.

He worked hard and practiced his audition piece at home incessantly, with his dad as his accompanist.  He wore his bow tie to the audition- and his most optimistic face.

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But when we arrived, the hall outside the audition room was packed with kids and parents-  nearly 90 kids had shown up to audition.  Only a handful would make the cast.  It was more than a little daunting, and my mind flashed back to all my nightmare audition experiences.

Like the audition where I ran out of the building crying, the one where the judges smirked the whole time, and the one where I discovered I was actually auditioning for a Crestor commercial.  (I spent the entire audition shocked they considered me old enough to have high cholesterol- which I am old enough, I just don’t want anyone else telling me!  ha.)

I rubbed my son’s shoulders, told him I was proud of him no matter what, and then I stood outside the door, craning my ears to hear.  And I listened for the slam of his sneakers when he came down hard on his final round-off.

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He felt good about his audition.  My husband, his accompanist and daddy, was weepy as they walked back to the car.  There’s something profound about seeing your child do something he loves.

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That night, he was elated when he found he made “callbacks,” which, in theater-land, means you made it through to the next round!

The callbacks were much tougher.  He learned a challenging munchkin dance, but ran out to me before performing it for the judges, anxiety all over his face.  Without much formal dance training, the steps were rather bewildering.  “I’m not sure they’re going to pick me, Mommy.”

“They might not, buddy, and that’s okay.  You just do your best.”  He did.  And then learned a “Lollypop Guild” song with 7 other boys, singing, “We wish to welcome you to Munchkin Land.”  With his fire-red hair, and exuberant personality, I thought he made the perfect munchkin.  But then, I’m his mom.

We were told we would find out the results in a few weeks.  My little actor went home, fell asleep at 4:30pm, and slept for 3 hours.  Auditioning is hard work- physically and emotionally.

Well, we finally got the news.  Watch as my hubby tells it to our son- “American Idol style.”  (And watch how our son doesn’t buy it AT ALL.)

Like I said, I hate sharing disappointing news with my kids.  Thankfully, this time at least, we didn’t have to!

(Did I getcha?)


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