Saturday, July 27, 2013

My sweet baby niece is auditioning for The Voice right now

My sweet baby niece -- who is 15-years-old now, by the way -- is auditioning for The Voice today in NYC. Every time I think about this, I start to cry a little bit. I cannot even imagine doing such a thing when I was 15. I know times are different; I was 15 23 years ago, after all. Still.

I guess my first audition was in college. I was trying out for a role in Bye, Bye Birdie. I wanted to play Mae Peterson, Albert Peterson's overbearing mother. When I tried out, I played Mrs. Peterson in a similar fashion to how Mike Myers played Linda Richman. I didn't get that part, but I did get myself a speaking part in the chorus. My line was, "...or Roger and Phyllis?" I was disappointed, but got over it quickly and had a blast.

I've auditioned for a few comedy-related things since then, and I can say with surety that if I never audition for anything again, it will be too soon. I hate it. The anxious build-up, the nerve-racking performance, the sick-making over-analysis of everything that happened, and the terrible let-down. I know there are people made of tougher stuff who can handle that scene with ease. I am not one of those people.

Maya is so excited about her audition; it's practically all she's spoken to me about lately. And that's fine, of course. I tried to share with her the reality of auditioning (especially the cattle-call-like auditions that these TeeVee shows hold) without extinguishing her flame. She was extremely sanguine about it, and was confident that if she didn't make it this time, she'd make it another time and everything would be fine.

I'm so proud of her for approaching this with so much hopefulness and without fear. That's really the ticket there. She's fearless! I don't know how she's turned so fearless, especially with me as her aunt. I'm always the one calling after her, "Be careful!"

What I should be calling after her is, "Don't be too careful!" Because I have to admit that I've been too careful. I've missed opportunities and experiences because I was too careful, too afraid. And I'm not regretful of that. But I sure am glad that Maya's not missing a thing.

God I love that kid. So much.

She got to audition for some producers, but didn't make it to the next level. When I got the news, I couldn't stop crying. It wasn't so much that I was disappointed she didn't make it more than I was sad that she had to endure the pain. That pain of rejection is so powerful and I have felt it so acutely and I'm just so sad that she has to feel it. That part where you don't want your sweet baby niece to ever have any pain is an impossible wish. I'm so proud of her for trying though. And I hope this experience doesn't make her stop trying. I wish I had her verve and vigor when I was her age. I'm so, so, so incredibly proud.

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