Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Fall of Change

September 19 Last Year………..

Let me start by saying that this blog should have been posted on September 19. It was written, in my head at least. I had the best intentions to post on that day. But September 29 will have to be close enough.

One year ago, on September 19, 2011, Noah had his first audition for Billy Elliot. I remember the day well, even though I wasn’t there. We found out about the audition just the week before and I had already planned to be in California with my husband for a Bat Mitzvah. So, Noah’s dad arranged to take that Friday off and take Noah to his audition in New York City. I was disappointed that I couldn’t be there but I guess being on tour is making up for this. Since I wasn’t at that first audition, you can read Noah’s reflections one year later (to come in a follow-up blog post soon).

But I do clearly remember being in Palo Alto, CA. in our rental car, when Noah’s dad called me three days later to tell me that the casting director called and said she wanted Noah to come in for a call-back.  Noah was on the “very short list” for the role of Billy Elliot. Since that moment, our lives have been on quite a different trajectory. Things began changing for all of us. Noah indeed had his call-back: a two-day audition in January of 2012. I was with him at that audition and began to sense that this could be the start of a new chapter in Noah’s life – all of our lives. It was.

So, here I am: one year after that first audition. In Buffalo, New York. On the Billy Elliot tour. Eating in hotel rooms, doing laundry in laundromats, writing blog posts in Starbucks across the U.S.A. I miss my husband, my other sons, my dog, my life. But I am grateful for this incredible opportunity to watch Noah shine in his new life, meet fabulous new people, and see the country.

I have spent the last couple of weeks reflecting on how much has changed in this one year – this year that seemed to fly by. Last September, Noah went to New York City with a dream. This September he is living that dream. Last September, I was thinking about how this tour thing would ever work for our family. This September we are making this tour thing work, despite its difficulties. Last September I spent the Jewish New Year in California with my husband and in-laws. This September we spent the Jewish holidays in Memphis and Buffalo just the two of us (and our Billy Elliot family). In fact, this Yom Kippur (September 26) Noah appeared on two television morning news shows — not our typical Yom Kippur. Click here to view one of the TV spots. Last September, Noah was starting 7th grade at middle school. This September he started 8th grade in his hotel room.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, marks a time of new beginnings and change. Right now, I have no idea where I will be on September 19 or 29, 2013. But I know that things will be different as there’s one thing that’s constant and that is change. For the moment, however, I am enjoying where I am this September.

Some photos in Detroit and Memphis, just for kicks:

Noah on the original bus Rosa Parks rode in the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, MI

Categories: Accidental Stage Mom, Etcetera, On the Road, Philosophy, That's Life! | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Straddling Two Worlds

Hello again! Since I had no time to write while I was “home” in Boston, well sort of home, I am considering this blog post a reflection of the whirlwind time we spent there during the Billy Elliot run from July 24-August 19.

Some of the veteran touring parents warned me that when a show plays in your home city, this is the most exhausting time on the entire tour. Still a newbie to all of this, I didn’t believe them. Let’s call me a believer now. You see, being home while “on tour” means you have to straddle two worlds: life at home and life on the road. This is not just tiring but surreal on many levels.

Let me back up by saying that the run in Boston was nothing short of incredible for our entire family. Based on what we are aware of, at least 750 people we know came to one of Noah’s performances (I didn’t realize we had that many connections!) And we keep hearing of yet more friends who were there. At one show alone, about 400 people from Noah’s Boston dance family were in attendance. The audience went nuts the second the stage manager announced “The role of Billy tonight will be played by Noah Parets.” And that was before he even hit the stage.

Because of the throngs of people coming to each one of Noah’s shows, I went to most of them as well. I sat with different people at each show and had the opportunity to catch up with friends and family by grabbing dinner or a drink before or afterwards. If it were not for this, I would not have had time to see so many people who I wanted to catch up with.

That aside, while in Boston, we tried to divide our time between staying in the city (much easier to get to the rehearsal halls, theater, and hotel) and our house out in the ‘burbs. I thought it would be a relaxing month as I would be able to spend time at home with my husband, older son Ethan, and dog. Reality check: not relaxing at all.

Straddling two worlds is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Huh? I know, sounds like the Twilight Zone and yes, it sort of felt like I was living in an episode of the Sci-Fi series. On one hand, I had my “normal” life at home with my family, my kitchen, my yoga studio, my own bed, my stuff, my car, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I even managed to teach a couple of yoga classes. On the other hand, I was still on tour albeit in Boston. I still had to rush around all day long and get Noah to where he needed to go, make sure he ate balanced meals, got enough sleep. And of course, we were at the theater for each show to meet all of those people. This went on for a month – six days a week. Each weekend, I would try to plot out the plan for the week. This only worked out about half the time. The rehearsal schedule perhaps changed or my older son needed a ride to his summer job or I needed to get home for the dog. Noah’s dad helped out a lot too and if timing worked out right, he could take over on the Noah end of things so I could return to my normal life for a day or two – uninterrupted.

Being home was like being literally dropped from outer space back into my day-to-day life. Nothing had changed but yet I had. Things looked and felt different to me. The pace was much slower than I had become used to. Everyone went to sleep by 11 pm – imagine that! Even my own bed felt foreign to me at first. On the last Sunday of the show run in Boston, we went back to the hotel with everyone else. There was a good-bye pool party which ran late into the night for a much-loved child who was leaving the show. There were tears and laughter. This felt strangely normal. I felt at home amid the chaos.

On the following day, we returned to our “real” home for two weeks. It was quiet and there were no late nights with tons of people around. It felt strangely strange.

Which brings me to now. Here we are in Detroit. No more crowds of people to meet at every one of Noah’s shows. Instead, I am settling into a routine once again. Now I have just this one life, this life on the road with our Billy Elliot family. It may look a bit different depending on which city we’re in. But it’s still one life. No more straddling two worlds. It is positively peaceful.

Categories: Accidental Stage Mom, Etcetera, On the Road, That's Life!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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