Saturday, December 5, 2009

Confessions of a Crazy Superstitious Stage Mom!

This week and every week since September, but especially this week has been accosted by the production of the Nutcracker. Our daughter Cloudya is in production year number two with the Omaha Theater Ballet's holiday tradition. This year she's the purple Faberge egg and opens the second act. Needless to say our little theater brat enjoys every minute of it!

Let me explain for a minute the life of our theater engrossed daughter. She was one week old when she made her stage debut. Call me crazy, but yes she was a week old. Cloudya is the product of two parents who lived the crazy theater life for years. It is truly in her blood. When she was three years old we went our separate ways from the theater and took on "real" professions. Several years later Cloudya saw and met her now favorite magician Darren Romeo. His influence brought the spark of entertainment into her life. From then on it didn't matter that child wanted to be on stage.

So, I'm not your typically stage mom as many of us have gotten a bad rep over the years. Our ballet school is full of those moms and quite frankly they make me cranky and I steer as far away from them as possible. I don't run around trying to be in charge of everyone. I don't attempt to sew every costume, so my daughter can be Clara next year. Nor do I stop in on other's rooms to boss other's children around. Frankly I'm busy enough with my own child.

During the week, we try to promote the true spirit of theater in our house. Each of us who have done theater have very strong superstitions and traditions that we follow. As people arrived this year to view her show Cloudya spent time asking them about each of theirs. My brother in law use to spend time staring at the model of the Globe Theater that sat in the back of the theater in our home town. My husband would pace the hallway before production talking to himself. My own would be wearing my lucky pair of underwear. My lovely daughter now has her own preshow traditions. She brings a picture of Darren that he signed for her several years ago, her Nick Jonas necklace and any music she can get her hands on. The child sits in front of her mirror with the things spread out around her listening to music and completely going into her own zone.

As time consuming as it is, we all enjoy our part in bringing the Nutcracker to life. I get to chaperone little girls on a daily basis and make sure all their eggs crowns are on straight. Thomas takes care of the party boys and manages to get make up on five little boys in record time. Then of course Cloudya brings her character to life by allowing her sparkling personality to show through.
As the show winds down today, it brings a sense of sadness in our home. That sadness in which we are all familiar, but even more so that we are not sure if Omaha will even have a Nutcracker next year as the professional company closes its doors. While leaving the theater yesterday, Cloudya asked me how many shows she had left and I had to inform her that today would be her last show in the run. She told me she didn't want it to be over. From there we discussed how long and hard a cast works to bring a production to life and how each person we work with over the years will always have a special place in our hearts. As the discussion ended it made me feel reminiscent of my own years in the stage and how many actors were so much a part of me.

The first day Cloudya did the show this year, she walked off stage and said, "There are so many people out there mom. That's why we do this!" You could use that to describe the entire process, but in her nine year old wisdom she is right.


  1. A very moving story. I think it's amazing that your daughter had that, "this is why we do this" insight.

    I've been involved in a few projects over the years where a group of people put in a tremendous amount of energy to make something happen. Those experiences are some of the most fulfilling ones I've ever had. Thanks for reminding me of those!

  2. She is such a beautiful "egg"! It's amazing how children can grasp what's going on and just explain it in such smart, simple ways!

  3. What an amazing and talented daughter! She's not only wise but also beautiful!