Reaching For The Stars
By Laura Bradford
Aside from being a mom, working toward a dream and having it come true has been one of my biggest joys in life.
I remember, quite vividly, the day the writing bug bit. I was ten years old and playing at a friend's house. It was raining and we'd had our full of Barbies and back-up-dancers (don't ask). At a loss for other entertainment options, we decided to write and illustrate a kids' book.
That was it. I was hooked.
Now, before your eyes glaze over at the thought of yet another why-I-became-a-writer blog post, this isn't one of those.You see, now that I'm a mom, I'm getting to see the whole "bug" thing from another perspective.
Sure, the kids had their "I wanna be a (fill in the blank)" stage when they were little. At that time, Dear Daughter # 1 entertained a host of options--bus driver, garbage collector (she thought it would be neat to ride on the outside of a truck), and the ever popular dance teacher. But by the time she was ten, she began to say one thing and one thing only...
She wanted to be an actress.
At first, I assumed it was a phase like the garbage collector had been. Then, as she got into high school and kept saying, "actress", I began to worry. I mean, who out there doesn't envision their "actress" child waiting tables for years and years?
Friends told me to talk her out of it.
Family told me to talk her out of it.
But it would be rather hypocritcal for me to try and talk her out of acting when my dream of being a writer wasn't a whole lot easier. So I stepped back, said a few prayers, and made the decision to let her try.
A few months ago, she came to me with information about an intensive week-long theater workshop in NYC. The program enabled her to pick a concentration (acting, dance, or vocal) and study with professionals in the field (working professionals--broadway dancers, broadway singers, tv actors, etc). The cost was blink-worthy, but her thought process was sound: by putting herself in that environment in a way no school production ever would, she could get a real feel for what life might be like as an actress.
So I said another prayer, scraped up the money, and made the arrangements (including securing a place to stay via my aunt's apartment).
Monday was her first day. She worked with actors, practiced scenes, took notes, and soaked up the experience like a girl with a dream. And in all my seventeen years of being her mom, I don't think I've ever been more proud of her (and that's saying a lot). She has seized hold of this experience with both hands and is making it her own.
Tonight is the showcase, where she'll get up on stage in a real Broadway theater and do the monologue she's been preparing. And there I'll be, sitting in the audience, knowing that the first part of her dream has just taken flight.
This kid has heart and passion for her dream.
This mom has all the confidence in the world she's going to make it.