I grew up in our local performance art scene – ballet, children’s theatre, choir… Whatever would get me up on a stage. I met my husband-to-be when we were in our early teens in community theatre. We re-met many years later on performance poetry stages. Performance and stagecraft has connected us from early days.
Tonight there was a rite of passage as we dropped Brother-Bug at the same stage door we raced through as know-it-all adolescents (and before that, as nervous children) on our way to backstage call. A parent volunteer took my baby boy to touch up his lipstick and help him into his costume, in dressing rooms that I frequented more times that I can count in days past.
Brother-Bug doesn’t realize yet is that the first time you touch feet to stage you’ve joined a tribe, that you’ve met your right of passage and come through to the other side a performer. It’s mostly Papa-Bug and I, watching him on the stage his first time, reminiscing of our early performance memories, who walk through the rite, teary-eyed with flowers in hand, who see the rite for ourselves.
I don’t know if Brother-Bug will continue dancing or performing. If he’s anything like either parent, it’s not a thing easily resisted once you’ve been under those warm stage lights. What I know is that when I picked him up backstage he was calm and grounded, but also starry-eyed. And I know that he loved it and wants to go back on the stage and back to ballet class.
I couldn’t believe he is old enough, competent enough, to be up there on the stage that featured in so many of my youthful aspirations. I hope that next time he’s up there, I’m a little less teary-eyed so that I can see him a little better.
|And away he goes…|