I just got home from seeing my nephew Tanner in his high school musical. I have to say I am very impressed by the job that Hillcrest High School did in "Aida". The leads were fantastic, the sets were great and the chorus - although really large - was wonderful.
Mainly I left the show feeling very nostalgic. It was 16 years ago that I first went to Hillcrest High School to see their musical. I was new to Cottonwood High School and in the musical. Some of us made an effort to go and see the local high school's productions. I remember so clearly the night we went to Hillcrest to see their production of "West Side Story." I remember being thrilled that I was actually invited to go. This was the first time I was invited to hang out with the "older/cool" kids. From then on we were close friends. This was the first time I felt part of this great group of friends - even if Joe Smith wouldn't let me sit by Jason and physically picked me up and moved me down the aisle.
I remember when I was just 16 and Tanner was a baby. I was spending all of my time at musical rehearsals. I remember balancing my classes with all of my extra-carricular activities and feeling so overwhelmed. It's been fun to watch Tanner the last couple of months experience this. While I heard him complain several times about being tired from all the hours he was spending at school - I knew he was loving it. Because I loved it.
That was 1/2 of a lifetime ago. Wow. How is this possible? How in the world did I become 30 years old?
Here is Tanner when I was 16.
And here is Tanner now - fresh haircut - for the musical.
I told him that he should feel lucky that he had to cut his hair - rather than grow it. I seem to recall some really ugly hair from my friends leading up to "The Crucible".
I think he misses his afro though.
Some of my greatest memories as a teenager stemmed from my high school musicals. I remember being in the chorus of "My Fair Lady" my sophomore year and crushing so hard on Jason Rhead it almost hurt.
I remember those long Saturday rehearsals and late school nights. I remember the costumes, the rituals, the gossip and the songs. I remember being a bit annoyed that I had to be a boy in "Oliver" my junior year - but I also recall how Mark Gurney lit up the stage.
I remember the pain I felt when I wasn't selected as a lead my senior year in "Guys & Dolls" but being excited to see so many of my dear friends finally have their chance to shine.
Tonight I found myself really choked up during the curtain call of "Aida." I know how it feels to hear an audience applaud your performance. There was a time in my life where I really thought I was going to be an actress. Because what other career could possibly help me feel the way I did during curtain call?! Funny, I wasn't good enough to be a lead even in my high school musical but I still had that dream.
So tonight I did feel a bit sad. I miss the theater. I haven't done a show since high school, which is fine. I have obviously found a career that fulfills me and at this point in my life I don't think I could stand to be around theater people all the time (no offense to my dear and talented friends who have managed to find success in this field).
But I do miss being 16. I miss my biggest problems being whether or not my crush likes me. Whether or not I'll get an A on my chemistry test, or whether I will get asked to Prom by the guy I really want to ask me. I miss that. While I know at the time it all feels much more serious, now it is just sounds so nice.
Being a grown up can suck a lot of the time. Now I don't worry about whether the boy likes me. I worry about whether I am being a good enough wife to keep him happy. I don't worry about grades. I worry about my career and whether I am raising enough money to sustain an organization I am passionate about. I don't worry about allowance and having enough to go to dinner with my friends. I worry about how we'll ever afford this new baby we are having in less than 3 months.
Life was so much more simple when I was 16. Dreaming about a life on the stage....
Oh how I envy my nephew.
Enjoy the ride Tanner....