Tonight is opening night for the first show I am leading in. The rehearsal process has been grueling and educational but whether I am ready or not, tonight the lights come up on me. This is also the first show my mom will not be at.
I still remember my very first show, at age six I was Gretel (the youngest Von Trapp child) in the Sound of Music. I can clearly recall my mom in the front row, hands clenched and held up to her face, weeping as I sang, "the sun has gone to bed and so must I". She came to every performance and I even caught her over the years watching the video of it and sobbing saying, "you are so cute, you are SO CUTE!".
My mother was still alive when I was cast in this show, so I got to call her and tell her I had finally gotten a big part. She was so excited and we talked about her trying to be well enough to come to a few performances. I know it was a landmark she wanted to make it to.
I am a performer because of her. She was an actress, a clown, a bright spot entering every room and she knew how to put on a show. Tonight I only hope to make her proud by getting out there, giving it my all and having a blast. Plus, she'll be there in spirit and after the show I will hear her voice saying, "You were wonderful… but it was a little long and the script seems a bit dated, no?"