Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

(And this time, it’s not me doing this.)

I got a message from the director of Little Brother’s current show (Little Mermaid, Junior–the children’s production at the local theater this year). The show is double-cast because so many kids tried out AND to allow the kids to rest. This way each child only has to appear in 8 performances instead of all 16. (This mama approves.) Anyway, Little Brother is a member of the Turf cast, but the director wanted to know if he could switch to the Surf cast (cool names!) because the other kid playing Grimsby has a schedule conflict.

LMJBecause the other kid is in another show. A show that opens the same week as this show. So there are conflicts with performances and rehearsals. The other kid had already been cast in this other show when he auditioned for LMJ.

According to Little Brother, there are several kids in the cast who are in the same situation. I got the same impression when I sat around the Green Room on audition night, and it’s only been reinforced by what other parents say as we sit around waiting for rehearsals to end.

These kids are in two shows, each of which rehearses at least twice a week. In addition, they are taking lessons in dance and/or gymnastics and/or voice and/or instruments; they are involved in at least one team sport; some of them are Scouts. WHEN THE HECK DO THEY EAT, SLEEP, STUDY AND PLAY?!

ANYway. These kids are in two shows at the same time. There were kids who didn’t get a part–because other kids (and their parents) thought it was a good idea for their kids to be in two shows at the same time, and there are only so many roles to go around, even with a double cast.

Maybe there are reasons here that I do not see, but I don’t get how this is a good idea.

And I’m willing to bet that these are the same kids who, when they’re seniors in high school, will apply to 25 universities and then wait until May 1 to decide, thus keeping other kids on the waiting list.

When you’re a member of a group, team, cast or ensemble and you double-book yourself, you’re not doing the rest of your group any favors. I wish the parents of these overextended kids would put their collective feet down instead of indulging their kids’ whims (or their own.)

End rant.

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2 thoughts on “Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

  1. I believe “indulging their own” are the operative words here. Living vicariously (or competitively) through one’s children. It’s shameful and selfish. Why do the adults directing the show not address it? They must be ok with it, sadly.

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    • The parents involved all seem to think it’s perfectly fine to overbook their kids; they brag about how busy the kids are; you know the drill. So I guess it’s the parents who are indulging their own whims by allowing or encouraging their children to do so many things at once.

      I am grateful that they double-casted this show, because 6 days with 2 or 3 performances each can be grueling (and it’s a diabetes nightmare, as is all the food in the green room.) Plus this frees me up a little, since there are 3 performance days when I don’t have to be at the theater at all.

      And for me, this is not a big career move for my kid. I have no expectations there. I’m glad he loves theater, and that he has an opportunity so close to home to develop his interest. It has helped him grow in many ways. He is confident speaking in front of an audience, if nothing else, and that is HUGE! He gets the opportunity to work as part of a team, to learn to pick up the pieces when another member messes upナand more. It’s fun, and hard work, and a learning experience, and social time.

      I just wish the people who already have that opportunity somewhere else would leave a little room for others who don’t.

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