I have been so wrapped up with clients and social media blogging, that I hardly ever have time to write. I promised myself that I would only engage on my blog when I was feeling inspired or really felt compelled to share an amazing piece. As a reminder, all of my daily looks can be found on the shop my looks tab and I update my Amazon finds almost weekly!
This weekend, however, was one for the books, and my emotions are in overdrive. If you have been following me since the beginning, then you know my oldest daughter Gianna (the non fashionista) has been performing since birth! These past two years, she has really focused on her passion for the arts and pursuing her dreams on a more professional level. She is signed with an agent, takes voice, dance, and acting lessons, and has performed in various regional performances. We were over the moon when she landed a national commercial with Marriott Hotels, which premiered during the Oscars!
This industry, however, is difficult to navigate. There are hundreds of talented kids vying for the same roles and trying to make it big like Gianna. You certainly need a thick skin to forge ahead. I am the most sensitive gal on the block, so I internalize everything and hurt for my daughter every time she faces rejection. Gianna, however, has been un-phased. She looks ahead to the next opportunity and works harder to hone her craft. At 11, her discipline, work ethic, and commitment is enviable.
Sometimes, however, she lacks confidence. She doesn’t believe in her voice, and listening to her repeatedly say she is a horrible singer breaks my heart. I am a realist. I don’t think my kids are the best and I am honest with them. In our house, not everyone receives a trophy! Is she the greatest singer in the world? Of course not. Can she sing? Yes. Most importantly, however, she works so hard to grow. She has improved immensely and its admirable to see.
For the past few months, she has been working tirelessly in the musical Matilda at the Rhino Theatre. Originally, she was cast as Amanda, one of the featured ensemble kids. The audition was intense, and she was thrilled to have a part in this demanding production. She loves the story of Matilda and couldn’t wait to be performing with some of her old theater friends too! A few weeks into production, however, the Matilda in her cast, was offered the opportunity of a lifetime: a role in Frozen on Broadway. With her exit, the role of Matilda was now up for grabs. Two days later we received a call from the theater offering Gianna the leading role! I was both in shock and elated simultaneously. When we relayed the news to Gianna, her reaction was unexpected. First she looked dismayed and then she started crying. Honestly, those initial tears weren’t happy ones, but rather tears of fear. Her lack of confidence reared its ugly head again, as she believed she didn’t have what it takes to carry out such a powerful role. We sat her down and patiently walked her threw this mini panic attack. We explained how the director and crew obviously believed in her and this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. She had the right to opt out if she was uncomfortable, knowing, however, that a role like Matilda doesn’t come around very often and she would only be this little once. After many deep breaths and a lot of reassurance, Gianna accepted her fate!
Some people are meant to be actors and memorize lines etc. Gianna is one of them. Ask her to add 8+5 and she will still count with her fingers, but ask her to memorize 70 pages of intense dialogue and she will do it in less than 2 weeks. Once she got started, there was no turning back. I can honestly admit that I was a ball of nerves. I wasn’t 100 % sure she would be able to carry out this complicated character. There were so many barriers and details to bring this story to life. Opening night, I couldn’t eat or speak. The moment she stepped on stage for the first time, however, my worries subsided. I was no longer watching Gianna. I was watching Matilda. Gianna has been performing for many years and I have always loved watching her. This time, however, was special. I have never seen her connect with a character this deeply. It was magical to watch. The entire show brought me to tears.
We are lucky to be surrounded by so many supportive friends and family members who took time to come and watch Gianna. Their love and dedication to my girls is much appreciated. Their kind words and tributes on social media don’t go unnoticed.
My friend Michele-Lee texted me after the show and her words resonated deeply with me. She said, “If I were you, I’d go ALL IN. No doubts. Never look back.” Looking back, I now know that I truly wasn’t good enough to make it as a dancer. If I could go back, I would do things so differently. I always loved fashion, but I never really discovered how passionate I was about it, until much later in life. Gianna, fortunately, found her calling at birth. You better believe we are going all in and never looking back!
Matilda’s motto is: “Even if your little you can do a lot, you mustn’t let a little thing like little stop you.” Gianna will hold onto these lyrics for the rest of her life and I know they will push her to keep going and pursue her dreams!
Now I say to all of you: “Even if your older you can do a lot, you mustn’t let a little thing like old age stop you!” While not as catchy, you get the drift. We only get one chance. Don’t let fear hold you back. Look at your children, learn from them, and dream big!
Gianna will be performing as Matilda until June 28th. If you are local, come see this magical story unfold onstage.