stage mom or just good mom?

stage mom or just good mom?

tonya
tonya

April 3rd, 2008, 4:23 pm #1

I often wonder about this: Am I a stage mom or just a good mom?

I think it would be irresponsible to put your child in a situation where you don't know what is going on. It should be known that you won't go for the child being taken advantage of or put in a less than ideal situation. To be informed of what is going on in a show, you have to ask questions and be there often to check out the environment. Allison is never in a show that I haven't personally met the director and other adults she will be in contact with. If I am even the slightest bit worried about any situation, I am there to watch her every second (I have demanded to be in the dressing rooms after being made aware of a certain situation).

For instance, Allison did a lot of work with a theater in the past. The kids were to be there on a Saturday from noon until midnight with a dinner break. The parents could come and take the child to dinner, etc but they didn't want paarents hanging around the entire time. They said they would keep an eye on the kids. When I went by at 7 pm, the room they were in had no AC (it was 90 degrees outside), there was no water available, and there was no adult in the room. I turned the thermostat down (the kids just didn't know how), got the stage manager out of the rehearsal, and called a few other parents I knew. In about 20 minutes, there were some other parents there, cold water was being served, and executive the director of the theater company (who was out of town)had been called. The director was less than thrilled about the whole situation but I didn't care. I did what was best for my child and the others. Is this stage mom or good mom?

Yes, I do make my daughter practice a song, etc until she gets it right (people pay a lot of money to see these shows). But she is the one who wants be in the shows and thrives on going to auditions, etc. If we make a long trip for an audition (like to NYC), yes, I make her get ready for it. She is told that if we make the commitment to go then she must make the commitment to be the best she can be at the audition.

So, how do you know when you cross the line to 'stage motherhood'?
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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

April 3rd, 2008, 5:38 pm #2

Tonya:

I think there are degrees of stage moms. Should you protect your daughter from danger in the work environment? Yes. Should you make sure that your daughter is not exposed to adult behavior or language? Of course. Should you step in if the people who are in charge do not look out for the safety and welfare or your child? Yes, certainly.

As for making your child practice until she "gets it right," that is where I get a bit worried. I think it's important to stress to your child that auditions and professional opportunities are jobs, where people have expectations and you must always be prepared. I think if you are finding that your child does not want to practice his/her lines for an audition or does not work on the craft, then perhaps your child isn't as excited about it as you are. Of course it's exciting to get a job and to rehearse and perform in a show, but that is the end result of showing how much you love to act/perform when you go in to audition. If you can explain to your child that the audition or meeting is just an extension of the actual job, then you might not have to force the child into preparing. Auditions, in my opinion, are just other opportunities to do what I love to do.

Just for the record, and not to make you feel bad in any way, I don't think my mother ever had to force me to prepare for an audition or meeting or performance. I was so in love with what I was doing, that she often had to stop me from singing all the time, so that I would go to bed and get some sleep. I think you should evaluate your own child and see if he/she really loves it as much as you think. Look around and see how your child compares to other children also in the business.

Julie
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mom of 6
mom of 6

April 3rd, 2008, 6:00 pm #3

I know Tonya and she is a wonderful mom, and Allison is so very talented, but I agree with Julie on one thing, Hannah actually drives us crazy ( and I mean it in a good way)constantly asking us to "watch" o "mom, please see if I got it down". Her dad just said recently, if he ever gets interviewed about Hannah, the first thing he's going to say is how she kept us all up with her loud singing all the time and how her sister gets so fed up with the noise. (honest, we all really love each other,lol) I NEVER have to tell her to practice or rehearse but sometimes tell her "that's enough, PLEASE!!, lol" If she stays home from school sick, she still insists on going to voice lessons or play rehearsal. (all though we don't let her)
Here's another example: We were at my sisters for Easter and she leans over into my ear and says "mom, I just have to sing" I shrugged her off and said, then go outside, lol. She also initiates friendships with certain experts (Hi Noel) and is not shy to ask for advise to improve her craft. She tells me, it's in her soul and she has to let it out. (drama queen!)
I'm not saying you push Allison though, I know you don't
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old fan
old fan

April 4th, 2008, 1:06 am #4

I often wonder about this: Am I a stage mom or just a good mom?

I think it would be irresponsible to put your child in a situation where you don't know what is going on. It should be known that you won't go for the child being taken advantage of or put in a less than ideal situation. To be informed of what is going on in a show, you have to ask questions and be there often to check out the environment. Allison is never in a show that I haven't personally met the director and other adults she will be in contact with. If I am even the slightest bit worried about any situation, I am there to watch her every second (I have demanded to be in the dressing rooms after being made aware of a certain situation).

For instance, Allison did a lot of work with a theater in the past. The kids were to be there on a Saturday from noon until midnight with a dinner break. The parents could come and take the child to dinner, etc but they didn't want paarents hanging around the entire time. They said they would keep an eye on the kids. When I went by at 7 pm, the room they were in had no AC (it was 90 degrees outside), there was no water available, and there was no adult in the room. I turned the thermostat down (the kids just didn't know how), got the stage manager out of the rehearsal, and called a few other parents I knew. In about 20 minutes, there were some other parents there, cold water was being served, and executive the director of the theater company (who was out of town)had been called. The director was less than thrilled about the whole situation but I didn't care. I did what was best for my child and the others. Is this stage mom or good mom?

Yes, I do make my daughter practice a song, etc until she gets it right (people pay a lot of money to see these shows). But she is the one who wants be in the shows and thrives on going to auditions, etc. If we make a long trip for an audition (like to NYC), yes, I make her get ready for it. She is told that if we make the commitment to go then she must make the commitment to be the best she can be at the audition.

So, how do you know when you cross the line to 'stage motherhood'?
...and no connection to you, Tonya, or m of 6 !!! The title caught my eye: Perfectionist Moms, and I watched part of the segment, the first time watching this show since the one where the performing kids competed....

This one mom had a teen daughter named (LOL) Annie, whom she wishes to be perfect. She had her in child beauty pageants to achieve to a perfect appearance & poise; made her watch medical shows as a child so she will want to become a become a doctor; forces her to take dance, acting, harp etc and be "perfect" at all of them, ; she must be in the top 10 scholars at school even if the mom has to leave work to bring forgotten homework to school etc etc; picks her clothes, friends, etc. all of which/whom must meet her standards, and the mom will be applying at colleges of HER choice on Annie's behalf !

The mom makes Annie feel nervous and a failure if perfection is not achieved. For example, she did not get cast in the lead in a production of 'Annie !" LOL. BUT this mom actually felt she was being a good mom and giving Annie advantages and good parenting.

The next Dr. Phil show (tomorrow- time ?) will also be about parenting. It IS a tough job to be a good parent. Thought some of you might be interested.
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holly
holly

April 10th, 2008, 1:42 am #5

I often wonder about this: Am I a stage mom or just a good mom?

I think it would be irresponsible to put your child in a situation where you don't know what is going on. It should be known that you won't go for the child being taken advantage of or put in a less than ideal situation. To be informed of what is going on in a show, you have to ask questions and be there often to check out the environment. Allison is never in a show that I haven't personally met the director and other adults she will be in contact with. If I am even the slightest bit worried about any situation, I am there to watch her every second (I have demanded to be in the dressing rooms after being made aware of a certain situation).

For instance, Allison did a lot of work with a theater in the past. The kids were to be there on a Saturday from noon until midnight with a dinner break. The parents could come and take the child to dinner, etc but they didn't want paarents hanging around the entire time. They said they would keep an eye on the kids. When I went by at 7 pm, the room they were in had no AC (it was 90 degrees outside), there was no water available, and there was no adult in the room. I turned the thermostat down (the kids just didn't know how), got the stage manager out of the rehearsal, and called a few other parents I knew. In about 20 minutes, there were some other parents there, cold water was being served, and executive the director of the theater company (who was out of town)had been called. The director was less than thrilled about the whole situation but I didn't care. I did what was best for my child and the others. Is this stage mom or good mom?

Yes, I do make my daughter practice a song, etc until she gets it right (people pay a lot of money to see these shows). But she is the one who wants be in the shows and thrives on going to auditions, etc. If we make a long trip for an audition (like to NYC), yes, I make her get ready for it. She is told that if we make the commitment to go then she must make the commitment to be the best she can be at the audition.

So, how do you know when you cross the line to 'stage motherhood'?
Part of the professional work for my 2 daughters is learning to advocate and not having mom always do it for them. If I think I should intervene, I speak to my daughters about it and offer to do so. If my older girl (now 13) says mom DON'T, I don't. My younger daughter (almost 11), it would be more negotiable. Now of course if there is a health & safety situation as you mentioned... but then we've either been careful enough or lucky enough to avoid that situation. Short of health & safety, my girls (esp. the older one) have the ethic of not being the complainer, and if it has to be done, doing their own complaining without getting mom involved. As far as the backstage thing, there are many backstages I've never seen. My boundary is typically at the stage door, not because I don't REALLY want to see, or go, or be part, or check out, etc., but BECAUSE IT IS THEIR SPACE.
I'm definitely not saying that what you've had to do at rehearsals or backstage is somehow not right.. but you asked how we all handle it & I bet each one of us has a different way, sometimes different for each kid.
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