Confessions of a Stage Mother Call Me Mama Rose!
Posted Thu, 03/08/2012 - 1:00am by Guest Contributor
Kids on Stage Camp Day 1
Ok I admit it. I never thought I'd be enrolling my 3 year old daughter in camp of any kind. I had pictured her taking the summer off from pre school and having mommy and me time dancing in my kitchen and doing art projects while basking in the glory of toddler hood! Then I woke up! Any mom of a toddler knows that is what single people think or people who don't live with a running, dancing, screaming jumping,mess making child who needs constant stimulation. I had one week of Lucy home from Pre School and immediately starting researching "Enrichment Activities" for summer" i.e. GET MY KID OUT OF THE HOUSE. But I had to convince my husband that whatever we enrolled Lucy in would be worth the investment financially and good for her mind, body and spirit.
Now I have a confession to make. As a mom of two daughters and a former "Thespian" in a past life, I will do anything to avoid soccer. Call me selfish, call me smart. Soccer may be as cute as any sport but frankly I don't want to spend the rest of my weekends schlepping around field to field sitting in the hot sun screaming while eating stale sandwiches. I knew my mom was onto something when she enrolled me in ballet. It's one class a week and one recital a year. Brilliant and Mommy friendly. Yes!
So as I naturally transitioned into wanting to do more my mom put me in theater camp just like Kids On Stage. One session with all the stage games, fun teachers, performance costumes and I was hooked.
Our first production was "Alice in Wonderland" starring 108, yes 108 children and I was a Caterpillar. I had one line. There were 9 Caterpillars but we didn't care. We each had the most important line according to our mothers. Every one of those kids had a shining moment. We were all "Butterflies" that weekend.
When I first heard about Kids on Stage camps I immediately assumed this would be something for later on down the line. When I checked out the website I was overjoyed to find out they actually have a camp and kids that are 31/2 and up can participate.
I did a lot of homework looking at other camps and comparing everything from prices, staff, times and reputation. I contacted friends who had children graduate from Kids on Stage and they had nothing but great things to say about their experience.
When you live in a town like LA there's a performance or theater camp on every corner. How would you ever choose? I looked at things like Kids on Stage having an over 25 year history. That says a lot right there.I liked the fact that their staff answered every single one of my questions and were very encouraging and unpretentious. I'm not trying to get my kid on American Idol. I just want her to have fun and participate in some activities that would teach her about the wonderful things theater and music have to offer. I have plenty of time later to get her into all that other stuff. But what Kids on Stage was offering me for Lucy's' age is a fun filled week of art, theater games, singing and performances everyday called "Play of the Day." I knew that the teacher student ratio would be awesome and everyday each kid would come home feeling like a star.
It's only been one day as I sit here writing this. One added bonus I didn't count on was that Lucy would be so extremely excited and tired. I'd get an extra hour of her napping. It's now 5:00pm and she's still asleep in her room with her performing scarf she's been carrying around. I had never left Lucy anywhere from 9:00-2:00pm Let me tell you it's a whole new sense of happy freedom! Try it, Mom! You'll thank me later!
She met Teacher Barbara and the staff this morning and I loved that one of the three owners of the whole company, Eve, was there to greet each mom. I know this can be scary for some moms to drop their kids off to strangers. I found the staff extremely welcoming and friendly. Of course I don't have this problem. I got in a fight with Lucy because she's already turned into a teenager and didn't want me "Walking in with her!" She's already embarrassed of me? She ain't seen nothin yet!
The camp size was small and there were several instructors helping each kid design a name tag. Lucy informed me that she had a really good time on day one.When I asked her exactly what she did she informed me she was having vocal problems and that"her voice" wasn't able to tell me about right then. Well I knew it went well because I didn't get any calls from the Teachers telling me to pick her up so we're off to a good start.
My favorite moment was when I picked up Lucy and she was dancing on the sidewalk with excitement. I asked the teacher how she did and with a big smile on her face she said "Lucy did great. She's more...um...free.....spirited" I know the code! Every mom knows that code for "She's fun but she can't follow directions!" She also said she heard my daughter singing an Elvis Presley song in the bathroom and she was very impressed. The stage mother in me beamed. I took my little "Thespian" home and she was asleep in no time flat. One day down and 4 more to go !
I'm already wishing it was 2 weeks.Just call me Mama Rose!