Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Scary Stage Mother

This week I turned into a scary stage mother!

Several people sent me information on a program that Dallas ISD was recruiting Chinese speaking students for; to be in their educational videos teaching upper grade students how to speak Chinese.

I thought it would be a great opportunity for my girls to meet high school age kids who speak Chinese. They need older kids as role models that take pride in their heritage so I kept pushing to get them involved.

Initially they planned to only have kids who were 14 years old and up, but decided to expand their search to younger kids, primarily to play the roles of the younger brothers and sisters in their videos so I was glad they had the chance to audition.

We went to the DISD headquarters and got to see a sample of the lessons they are doing, the studio, and meet another family who was also auditioning.

I made an executive decision that both would try out, even though Grace looked at me like a deer caught in the headlights!

I really meant to leave the room, as I think they are uncomfortable speaking Chinese in front of me for some reason. But I was stuck right between them. The other mother must have more experience at this and had pushed away from the table and quietly read a book.

The woman in charge gave them each a script and had Annabel and the boy practice a couple of times before recording it. She corrected Annabel's pronunciation of a word and I thought maybe the Chinese characters were wrong, which of course, doesn't even make sense, since I cannot read, write, or speak Chinese, but was ready to defend the reason my daughter was having trouble with one of the words!

After it was recorded the first time and Annabel barely spoke loud enough to be heard, I urged her to agree to doing it a second time, which she begrudgingly did. Even the second and third time, she did not speak any louder.

Then it was Grace's turn to do it with Annabel and I was surprised at Grace speaking up!

Through it all, Grace and Annabel were so nervous that I am surprised that Grace's fingertips weren't bleeding and Annabel's cuticles had anything left!

So as we left, I thought they both were going to tell me how nervous they were and that they were glad it was over. Instead Annabel was quite pleased that she had made a new friend! The boy who was also auditioning!

I got an email on Friday that they will be used only in the still shots and will not be required to memorize any lines! I think that sounds great to me! Grace and Annabel think that is horrible as they hate to have their picture made!

So I could not stop at just one stage mother incident, I forged on to the next!

Our friends' daughter is in the Dallas Children's Choir. She enjoys it and they feel it has been very beneficial for her, so when the auditions came up this year, I signed my girls up!

Saturday afternoon, we went downtown and actually found where we were supposed to go and each began to worry because other people were in the room and would hear them sing.

Both girls sing beautifully. Annabel did sing numerous numbers from the Chinese operas but has switched over to anything by Justin Beiber at the top of her lungs. Grace and her grandfather enjoy singing songs from the church's song book together, as well as every song she has ever heard!

When I realized that they were required to read a snippet I launched into scary stage mother and made sure they understood that Annabel probably would not be able to read it and explained how she was just beginning to learn to read. They assured me it was ok!

But, their shyness took over and you could barely hear them.

Once we got in the car, both sang the song they had to for the audition, at the top of their lungs.

We left there onto our 3rd adventure of the week, where I was the scary stage mother, but it is under the title of the Dragon Boat Races

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