Posted by: chlost | October 17, 2010

I play with my son

Today I was able to spend time with my oldest son. We went to see the play, “Glass Menagerie” at a small Minneapolis theater. It was a very good show. One of the women in the show is a local favorite of ours. She was part of the theater where my son did many shows when he was doing theater a few years ago.

My son has done a lot of acting. I remember watching him when he about 5 years old and went on a stage for the very first time. My sister was working at a children’t theater, and we had seen her in a show. She had him come up onto the stage after the show. He got to see that the sets were just sets. He had thought that it was all real. My sister would tell the story of how she could see the lightbulb go off above his head. He realized that people just pretended up there on the stage. He wanted to do that, too. Later, he was an actor in a show which went on a national tour with that same children’s theater when he was 14. They toured all around the country. It was a turning point for him. He loved acting. He worked with some great actors. He did some other shows with that theater after the tour, and several other local theaters as well. At least one of the other actors he worked with is now in a major role on television. 

When he went to college, he naturally wanted to be a theater major. He went to a beautiful west coast college. He learned a lot. He graduated with honors.  He got some parts, and worked part-time jobs in between.  He still loved acting, but about a year after he graduated, he realized that he wanted to come home to the midwest. He tired of the southern California lifestyle.

Minneapolis is a great theater city. He was cast in several shows. But he realized that he wasn’t comfortable with the actor’s life of never knowing when and where you will work next. There are no benefits. He became quite stressed over it.

He finally decided to get a “real” job. He now works for the state. He is doing well. He likes it, and has had promotions. They like having him there.

Now he is going to school part time for his Master’s degree. He has not been in a show for a long time. I don’t think he has even auditioned for a show in a few years. His past girlfriend did not like him to act, as she felt jealous if he played a role with another woman. They are no longer together, and I had wondered if he might get back into acting now. So far, he hasn’t.

But at heart, he is an actor.

When we watched the show today, I could tell that it is something that he yearns for. He could see himself doing that show. He knew how he would have played the roles. He picked up on a lot of the nuances that a non-professional (me) missed.

It is difficult as a parent to watch your child come to terms with his life. I know how good he is as an actor. I know how hard he worked through school and for the years that he did acting after graduation. I know that in a perfect world, that is what he should be doing. But I also know that he had to make a hard decision. It is probably the right decision.

But I should have been watching him in the play, not watching it with him.

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Responses

  1. You are such a supportive mom – you recognize your son’s dream and the dreamer in you wishes he could live it. I only hope I can be that way with my two sons.

    It hardly seems fair that everyone has a dream but only a few ever catch up to it. It’s the success stories that keep the rest of us going, I guess.

  2. I think I understand how your son feels. I’ve spent my life doing what is expedient rather than follow my dreams. However, he is blessed in that he did follow his at least for a while and had your support in doing it. Who knows? He may just get his chance to be an “overnight star” again!!! You are a great mom!

  3. Oh, my. The part about watching your child come to terms with his life is a revelation for me. Now I’m rethinking my mom and dad as they watched me grow…and seeing my future with my own kids.

    I bet your boy gets into community theater when he’s 50.

  4. I have not yet had to watch my kids let go of their dreams so I cannot imagine how hard that would be. It’s hard enough having to let go of my own; now I dream that my kids will be able to pursue their own.


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