As my daughter prepares for middle school and I watch her change from a little girl to a young lady I am mesmerized by her drive to try everything she can, be a part of everything that interests her and take leaps that leave me breathless while I watch. I’ve watched her dance her heart out for 7 years – dance is her first love and will always be a part of who she is but in the last year I’ve watched her take that grace and that stage presence and run wild with it. Being a part of choir, the Dazzling Stars performance group, dancing in her talent show, taking up the flute, excelling in art and winning a workshop scholarship and now theater. She’s just so full of creativity that it spills out of her in every direction.

My son is also an extremely talented artist who loves drawing, playing his guitar and now…. he’s under the spell of theater too. It wasn’t an easy sell to get him to audition alongside Ellise for The Clarkston Village Player’s Youth Theater and even after a week or so in he was still giving me that look like I should sleep with one eye open but something clicked around the 3rd week and he loves it. Asking me if he can take drama next year and just brimming with a confidence that I always knew was there and was secretly hoping this summer theater program would bring out of him.

I sat in the back row for weeks. I probably shouldn’t have, there are so many warning articles about helicopter parenting that now I don’t even know what is ok to do anymore. I get excited about what my kids are involved in, I can’t help it. I enjoyed watching them on stage and I loved being able to understand their scenes so I could read lines with them at home and I quieted my inner stage mom (who looks a lot like my inner dance mom) and I was good, I swear! I decided if I were going to continue to attend rehearsals I should at least attempt to look busy. So I brought my laptop and started editing photos during rehearsals. It wasn’t long until they noticed I was a photographer and when they asked me if I’d like to volunteer to take headshots of all the kids I jumped at the chance! Combining my love of being over involved in my kids’ lives and my love of photography was perfection! Now I can shake off the label of being a helicopter parent and replace it with volunteering! LOL!

I loved taking these photos, I love seeing the potential all these young kids have and I love our local theater so much for offering this youth theater to the kids in the first place. I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve my children in the way of confidence, experience and FUN!

I bet you will be able to tell right away which are my two but Ethan is the first on the left and Ellise is second row on the right. And now I present to you the cast of The Music Man, Jr. Performance dates are July 22, 23, 24, 28, 29 and 30 at The Clarkston Village Players. Check out their facebook page for ticket info – it’ll sell out quickly!