The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh

The Audition: Attack of the stage moms-- part 4

The clock is ticking as Sandra Tsing Loh's 10-year old daughter practices for her big audition.

So I've been DESCRIBING how my preteen daughter SUDDENLY caught the acting bug and wanted to AUDITION for a performing arts MIDDLE school. But of course, RAISED by a lazy MOTHER, she has HAD no actual TRAINING. And now she may be too OLD -- after all, she's already 10, and by that age other kids
have already done four NUTCRACKERS and can TAP like Savion GLOVER!

But in the couple WEEKS we've had to RALLY ourselves-- Instead of Fame HIGH school, think Fame HOME school-- I think we've made great PROGRESS. Every morning I create a new DANCE combination for my daughter--step step KICK turn, step step JUMP turn-- "Ow!" I exclaim. Paraphrasing comedian Bob SMITH--
"At my age, the only big break I'M going to get is a HIP injury."

I give her BLOCKING for her ONE-minute MONOLOGUE-- "I think HERE you DRAMATICALLY
throw your arm out like THIS--again, ow!" I have her drill, over and over, "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens!" while I clap RHYTHM behind her--

Diana ROSS famously had a TUNNEL built from wings to STAGE so en ROUTE she didn't HAVE to look at the LITTLE people. Unfortunately, in Maddy's case the "little people" include her SISTER-- There's no ROOM for a tent in the back seat of the Volvo -- And as Maddy chimes "Raindrops on roses!" for the hundredth TIME, her little SISTER screams, "Go to middle school already and get OUT of my LIFE!" On the day OF the audition, weirdly one of my CLOCKS is 15 minutes SLOW--

So instead of being relaxed and EARLY, while I don't want to PANIC my daughter, with my BEST June Cleaver SMILE I lead her onto campus in kind of a. . . gentle JOG-- "Why are we running?" she asks. "Oh! It's just a TECHNIQUE actors USE to get their. . . blood going!" My SHOES are pinching me-- I have come
DRESSED as a Stage Mom, in uncharacteristic blouse, skirt and HEELS-- Even LIPSTICK and a HAIR BAND-- The school SHOULD know this FUTURE star's mother is ready to bake cookies, fundraise, usher, write personal CHECKS, scrub theatre TOILETS--!

But now we ARRIVE and I SEE a terrifying VISION-- 50 OTHER stage moms and THEIR daughters, all FEVERISHLY running their lines-- "Oh no!" I think. "To get into ACTING school, my daughter FORGOT to be a. . . BOY!"

And yet, 30 minutes later, she comes out. . . chuckling. She had fun. Unlike my STEREOTYPE of show kids, the children were actually NICE to each other. One girl said, "You did good on your monologue," and Maddy answered politely, "So did you!" But NOW, before even HEARING the results, she has decided her NEW favorite TV show is CAKE boss-- So her NEXT goal is getting into COOKING school? As Marlon Brando said in “Apocalypse Now!”, “the horror, the horror!”