Sunday, December 14, 2014

High on the Hill There's a Lonely Goat...

I spent most of my Saturday at the high school, scoring the hopeful.  You see, it's musical season again.  This year's production will be The Sound of Music.  Donegal is a theater community -- so much so that when the call went out to the primary, intermediate and junior high, posting auditions for the children in the show, the response was overwhelming.

Four roles for tiny people.  SIXTY EIGHT competitors.

The enthusiasm for theater in this area is astounding to me.  Even more astounding was the focus, talent, and energy of these kids.  They sang, they danced, they acted with the big kids, on the big stage.  As someone scoring, it was exhausting.

And then it repeated itself again -- this time, with nearly 100 big kids.  And while there were a few more roles for them, there are still fewer than kids who are dreaming of spotlights.

We all thought we'd be done by 5.  We whittled down the cast list with the director, and finally left the school after 8:30.  And the show wasn't cast.  The director will make the ultimate decision, and is currently experiencing her "semi-annual sleepless night" as she tries to mesh the perfect cast from those who auditioned.  

I do not envy her chore this evening.  I'd suggest she count sheep, but even I can only see a lonely goat (Sound of Music reference - I couldn't resist!), and it's tough to go to sleep after counting to one.

Lonely Goats...

I knew a lot of the kids auditioning, and even more of the parents present.  It's really tough when you live in a small town, and know the back story of some of the kids.  We know who the shining stars are -- who has been having a great year and riding high on success, and, just like Santa, who has been on the other side of the luck or behavior tracks.  The thing about theater is that actors and actresses, even when they're as young as five years old, are emotional.

And so are the people who are casting the parts.

It's no secret in the performing arts community in a high school that certain roles are "dream roles"  - or should I say "DREAM ROLES" for some, more than others.  It's always a struggle to cast a show when there are multiple perfect candidates for a single role.

December is a tough time in high schools.  Next week, there will be a few posted lists.  Donegal will post its cast list on the director's website tomorrow sometime, and there will be more tears than there are cheers, due to the giant response to the audition call.

After that, the Early Decision and Early Action lists will be released by some really selective colleges.   And just like the musical, there are certain "DREAM COLLEGES" for the seniors.   I've read dozens of essays, and written dozens of letters of recommendation.  I've known most of these kids for more than a decade, and am as excited about their futures as their own parents.

If the "right" college for each of these kids, as perceived by me, doesn't have the good sense to choose them, then it is the institution's loss.  Because I've seen the heart and soul of these kids, nurtured in a community who cares.

Even if they feel like lonely goats on a hill yodeling for some recognition.