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: