I might have a problem. I got into an argument with one of my sisters over whether or not her daughter could sing a solo in a family skit I had written. Basically, I lost my fashizite because I didn’t want to share the spotlight with a 9-year old!
And it’s not like we were performing on national television! It was for our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary party, where the audience would be entirely made up of family and the elderly. Literally, half the crowd wouldn’t even be able to hear what we were saying. But as a closet actress who has limited opportunities to showcase her subpar voice, I live for moments like this one. I wrote the lyrics, I had an artistic vision in mind — and having a cutie-patootie starlet cutting in would completely ruin the magic I’d spent hours working toward.
See what I mean? I was behaving as if I’ve dedicated my life to the theater — as if this musical homage to the five decades since 1968 was all about me, rather than my parents and their amazing marriage. I had to get myself under control and fast, or not only would there be some unhappy people, but I’d perhaps damage my relationship with my sister.
Luckily, I retracted my head from my rear in time and acquiesced not only to Little Miss Broadway, but all 13 of the grandkids. The finale piece, my clever rendition of “Rent’s” song “Seasons of Love,” became a chorus line of voices both young and middle-aged, ultimately far exceeding my original expectations.
Lesson learned? Collaboration with others, even 9-year olds, makes everything better.