I sit here, New Year’s Eve 2010…The Holidays started out good, 4 Seasons for Thanksgiving Dinner. It was good. Connor danced w/Joffrey at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, downtown Chicago. He had to go early, so my loving husband sent a limo to take me and the est of the family downtown as I do not drive on the expressway (due to pts of my car accident)…I know, I know get over it. I just hate driving on the expressway so I don’t do it. A couple of years ago one of my New Year’s resolutions was to drive to Chicago and I did it. I drove up to my husband’s building, aka Chicago Title Insurance. He was waiting outside for me. I remember he had the biggest smile on his face. That said it all,”See I knew you could do it and I am so proud of you for doing it.” So I did it, and I know I can do it but I just don’t want to do it again. So call me pisher… Thanksgiving was good, Michael Jr. didn’t attend. He spent Thanksgiving with Jen.
Matthew, my 22 year old is a professional dancer on Milwaukee Ballet. He picked up some shows w/Salt Creek Ballet’s Nutcracker for good money and he was the, “Cavalier.” Last year he rolled his ankle up in Milwaukee so he missed the Nutcracker completely. This year everything went well. Saw the show 2 times on the same day… Went with an old friend, so that was really special meeting up with someone who was with you back in the day. We went to the first show at the Paramount. Another friend also came with her daughter and that meant so much to me. It’s good to have friends. I count the many blessings I have in my life.
The show he did at the Paramount, he was amazing. I cried as I always do when I see my kids performing on stage. They are so talented and I am so proud of them. They work so hard, and I see the real work. I see the, “Battle Scars.” They can say it doesn’t hurt, but I put the ice packs that I find in their beds back in the freezer. The Advil on the counter, back in the medicine cabinet. But dancing is their passion. It has to be, otherwise they would not do it. It’s really too hard of a job, to just be a job. They love the stage and they love entertaining. It is their gift to the world. I think they would dance and perform even if they didn’t get paid. Sometimes they do. Thank you boys for bringing beauty into this world and into my life. I love you…
Performing…What can I say. I love it. I love everything about it. I love the lights, the instruments, the performers, the music, singing. I am transported literally to another place where there are no bills, there are no problems, there is no housework, there is no, “What’s for dinner.” There are only unlimited possibilities. Hope, faith, happiness and the future.
I have seen the entertainment world up-close and personal. I have learned so much from watching in the wings. That is exactly where I want to be too. Actually, I mean in the audience. So much more peace in, “The House.”
I have been in the wings…Call times, Costume changing the performers, Applying Make-up (Ugh, on the guys) Notes, Quick changes (just shoot me), and on and on and on. Now I know why Beetlejuice won’t do 2 shows on the same day, he just won’t do it. Because backstage is not glamorous, it is stressful. So much work. And even though the performer’s won’t admit it, I know their stress level is rising. When you hear, “5 Minutes,” and you still don’t have your make up on, I know their head is exploding. Yet they still manage to get out on the stage and perform. Yes, this is why they are the professionals, and they are called actors. Because that is what they do, ACT.
My kids are in the business. One of my son’s, a professional ballet dancer, was vomiting 30 minutes before he had to be on stage for, “The Nutcracker” with the Joffrey Ballet. Another time, he literally was running through cars on Congress Street in Chicago to get there by Curtain as he was the opening. I mean he was the first one in front of the King, (Romeo & Juliet/Joffrey Ballet) when the Curtain went up.
Then there are the costumes, oh the costumes. They are some actor’s treasure, and then they are some actor’s trash. Watching from,”The House,” during dress rehersal one of my son’s came out and said, “I’m not wearing the cow ears.” (Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat/He was Benjamin) Then another son got pulled over after he left the theater because the police officer thought it was kind of strange to see someone driving around with cow ears on at 11:30 pm. (He was Levi) I think he might have even gone to sleep with the cow ears on.
A couple of tips for pre-professional Mom helpers. Always do make-up at home, if you can. Soooo much easier. Leave costumes at the theater, if you can for the run of the show. Keep costumes all together in a garment bag if you take it home to get it cleaned. If you don’t you’ll end up buying a pair of khaki’s at ‘Joseph A. Banks’ for your 6 year old that cost $150 dollars.
I have loved it, every minute of it. The stage is huge and when your kids are a part of that, well there are no words. Just a really cool feeling. They are amazing performers, each one of them. And in this world where we have people flying planes into buildings, I thank God for the talents of these artist’s who bring such beauty into this world, and to all who entertain and bring joy…I say, “Thank you!”
Happy 4th everyone…Summer is in full swing, or at least it should be. Good holiday, we are celebrating our country, “The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” I always say if you are lucky enough to be born in America, then you are lucky enough!!! Please remember all of the people who have made this country great and free. Remember all who have given their lives for this wonderful country. Say a prayer for all who are defending it now and say one for their families. Their sacrifice is great. Then make sure, no matter what your circumstances may be, go and enjoy the holiday.
Enjoy the outdoors…It has been proven that eating outside makes the food taste better. Go to a carnival. Even if you are watching your budget, go and be an observer. For me, I do not enjoy feeling like I am about to fall out of the sky to my death. So I watch everyone else, and it makes me smile. Enjoy a concert. There are so many different venues, stick with the ones from the past that touch your soul, or try a new one. Music is a gift, enjoy it. Oh and btw, did I mention it has been proven that listening to music outside makes it sound better. Then whatever you do, don’t miss the fireworks. All of the above mentioned activities are free. Oh and one more thing, the fireworks are always better OUTSIDE…
Just a few tips…If you don’t get into festival foods, (for fear of food poisoning or just the hassle of standing in line, finding a place to sit, blah blah blah) go to a favorite spot to eat, and fill up. Make sure you use their bathroom and always bring along a bottle of water before you hit the festival. Especially valuable information when bringing along the kids (bathrooms, sanitary wipes, blanket, and don’t forget the carnival straws).
It can be overwhelming, to do the carnival thing with kids. Be it 1 kid or many. That is why, whenever we would do the carnival thing, my rule was 1 treat. If money wasn’t a problem, then it was 1 treat (of food variety) and 1 ride. My kids were good with that. Because with all of the other activities going on that usually made everyone happy. Especially the dad!!!
For now, I must get started with my 4th of July Holiday…Happy 4th:)