Sunday, March 24, 2024

When High School Theatre Is Family

I am glad Natalie has found her people in High School. It's not always easy to do, especially when you have quirks. Natalie has always been theatrical in nature: from a small age, she was drawn to costumes. She had a bunch of them in her closet and many times when we'd run errands she'd be in one, complete with colorful plastic high heels and a crown perched on her head.

She wasn't always sure she wanted to stick with theatre. Auditions are nerve-wracking for her. Oh, she adores being on stage but the process of getting there can be difficult. She second guesses herself. And it doesn't help that auditions are held in front of everyone else so if you see someone have a flawless one, panic can surge throughout your body. 

In fifth grade she tried out for the musical and shook a bit when she got up in front of the crowd. She had to sing a song. Her voice wobbled. She wore a unicorn hat tucked down to her eyes as almost a shield. She was placed in the ensemble and was a little sad she didn't get an actual part, but she still had the best time. (That's her in the pink with her friends.)

In sixth grade she opted not to take theatre classes. She went for art instead. But she tried out for the school wide play, Mary Poppins, and got a callback. She was thrilled. In the end, she was ensemble again, but she still had a fantastic time. In seventh grade she returned to theatre classes and auditioned for the musical. She sang, got a callback, and actually got a part! It was Honk and she was Penny. She was ecstatic. She finally did it! She had an actual part. 

But then Covid hit and everything changed. The play was canceled. In eighth grade the world was still pretty much shut down so there weren't any productions. 

In ninth grade she ended up getting a part for the first play she auditioned for: The Crucible. She was Betty Parris. This was when she started to get close to the other theatre people. Her entire freshman year she bonded with the other actors--she cried when the seniors left. 

(This is her as Betty in the nightgown, and they had to wear masks at this time. She was also in her blonde era.)

She's been in every play her high school has had since she started--sometimes she doesn't get speaking roles, and that's okay. Sometimes the audition process trips her up. She tends to stutter when she reads new things. If they have to memorize monologues, her mind can go blank at the worse moment. 

It happens. 

But even if she doesn't have a big part, she still has her people. They're all silly and enthusiastic and yes, sometimes they get on each other's nerves, but when it all comes down to it, they're family. And when family graduates, there are always tears. Does she prefer to have more lines? Absolutely. Being on stage with words and blocking helps her to combat any fears she might have. 

Natalie recently auditioned for the UIL play, which is the one they compete with others schools with. It was Blithe Spirit, and Natalie was aching to play Elvira, the wife that comes back from the dead. There was lots of competition--and the way this worked was that two people would be given a role and the one that was the best for it would have it for the competition and the other would be the understudy. Natalie was stressed, but determined. She has been an understudy many times for large parts and was hoping it would work out that she would get the part. (She was understudy for Gabrielle in the Cinderella musical and was thrilled when they had an understudy performance so she could go on. She's in the pink.)

She ended up with the part and screamed when the cast list came out. I thought she was wounded, but no, it was a screech of relief. She had done it. She fell to her knees and let out the happiest wail. 

She absolutely loves the old Hollywood era and her character had those old Hollywood vibes. She was in her element. She got to wear a blond wig that reminded her of Marilyn Monroe. This is a picture of her friends braiding her hair so she could get the wig on easily. Everyone in the play did amazing.

But unfortunately, the play did not advance in the competition. Everyone was disappointed, but it happens. Sometimes everything works out. Sometimes it doesn't. 

They got to perform Blithe Spirit one last time at the school over the weekend for family and friends. First the understudies went on and then the main cast. Everyone shined on stage and I felt a twist in my gut to know it was the final time I would be watching. And afterwards, everyone hugged. From the cast to the crew to the directors, there is appreciation all around. 

And as they stepped away from the set one final time, I imagine some felt wistful, but knew they would return to the stage very soon. 

To their family. 


  1. Your daughter looks amazing in her custom. I hope that her play is successful, it sounds like an amazing story.

  2. My daughter finally felt like she fit in when she joined the drama club. This club was awesome for her.

  3. Oh I know the feeling of the final time when they are in their last year of HS.

  4. Oh wow, well done to Natalie for getting the part she wanted in Blithe Spirit. I can imagine she did an amazing job in the play. I can see her doing well in the acting world.

  5. Natalie's story is truly inspiring, showcasing someone's deep love for theater. Despite facing challenges in the beginning, she eventually landed her dream role in "Blithe Spirit." It's a testament to her perseverance and passion for the stage.

  6. You go Natalie, I did drama , and it was awesome even back in the day. I look forward to seeing Natalie on Boardway!!

  7. I'm enjoying this extra bit of lore expanding on Natalie's evolution into Theatre! Can't wait to see what the future has in store for this talented young lady!

  8. I loved reading about your daughter's experience with theater! I also was involved in theater when I was in high school but I was mostly in stage crew. I loved it!

  9. It is wonderful that your daughter participates in theater. It is such a great group of kids and such a great talent to have.

  10. I did theater growing up and had such great memories from it. I’m glad to see your daughter loving her passion!

  11. We can't win every time, but the experience counts! With her dedication and hard work in the theatre field, Natalie will be an amazing actress for sure ❤️

    Natural Beauty And Makeup ❤️

  12. Loved reading Natalie's pursuit of and passion for drama through the years.. I know it is going to be a wistful experience for me when I watch my daughter perform with her dance company for the last time this summer before she heads off to college in fall

  13. This is so sweet! And I love the costumes. It is so nice with everything returning to normal after COVID

  14. I do agree with you that's it's hard to find your crowd, especially in high school. But when you do find your people, they're for keeps for life. Indeed, they're family.

  15. I wish that I enjoyed theater growing up. I was always shy so going on stage was a no go for me. I still have stage fright as an adult. Your daughter has an amazing talent. Keep up the good work Natalie.

  16. Glad your daughter found her people. That is a joy to us parents. Good luck to her after high school. Maybe Broadway is next? :) -LYNNDEE

  17. It was delightful to hear about your daughter's theater journey! I too have a fondness for theater; during my high school years, I primarily participated in stage crew, which I thoroughly enjoyed!


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