A few months back I was browsing the web site of an area arts center to see what kind of theater classes they offer for kids, and I saw a notice for upcoming auditions for an American Girl fashion show. They were looking for young ladies to model clothing in just two sizes, 6x and 10.
Completely convinced that neither of my girls would fit the height requirement, I decided that the experience of auditioning alone would be good for them. I have a theory that the sooner in life kids experience a little disappointment, the better. Nothing is ever gained by being a spectator in life, so I did a quick spiff-up after church one August afternoon and drove them to the arts center. I prepared them along the way that they would probably not be chosen, and if they weren't, it was no big deal. I told them that half the girls of northwest Arkansas would probably be there for auditions, and since there were only a handful who would be chosen, just to be prepared for anything. I assured them that I would be very proud of them just for trying.
We arrived about 15 minutes before the doors opened, and the line of mothers and their nervous daughters, many clutching American Girl dolls, already wound down the street. What we discovered was that not only had half of northwest Arkansas shown up, there were also girls from eastern Oklahoma and southern Missouri as well. This was a bigger deal than even I had imagined.
When the doors finally opened, and they allowed us in, it wasn't long before we saw little girls being turned away. Some didn't fall within the required height range. Others didn't have the necessary measurements around their midsection. When I saw a very beautiful girl sobbing, nearly having to be carried out by her mother, I began seriously questioning my own judgment. What were my motives for subjecting my own daughters to this?
We saw that scene repeated several times over the next half hour, and as I deliberated the pros and cons of taking S and C out of line and driving them home, I realized that both had made it through all the hurdles and were being invited into the auditorium to speak with the judges. They were given a brief set of instructions on how and where to walk across the stage, then given a question or two by the judges to answer. After that part of the process ended, we were allowed to leave with the promise that we would hear from the judges within a week.
At this point, we were hopeful that at least one of the girls would get a part but never dreamed that it would be both. You can only imagine my surprise the following week when I received an email notifying me that S had been cast as Samantha, one of the historical girls, and C as a Bitty Baby.
What an exciting moment it was as I shared with the girls the exciting news.
To be continued tomorrow ...