Thursday, April 17, 2008

She's Got the Bug

"We've got to practice my song because the talent show auditions are next week!" It was Monday night and Kyra was in a mild panic. And that mild panic was about to transform into major panic.

"No, Sweetie, talent show auditions are this week. They're Wednesday afternoon."

Cue the breakdown. Fortunately, the two of us had already worked on a song for Kyra's birthday, so we already had a tune in the can. Meltdown averted. As you can probably tell, Kyra is our passionate performer. It's one thing to do karaoke in your family room, but quite another to get up the nerve to take your act to the next level: performing before your peers. I was proud of her drive and initiative, so we practiced. I told her that I could record the guitar track for her audition, but she looked at me with a pouty face and said, "But I want you to play for me." Remember all that crap I wrote about being the "co-keeper of the dream"? Time to put up or shut up.

Auditions were yesterday after school. I worked the morning shift, which allowed me to attend, but meant that I had been up since 3:30 in the morning. I'm not using it as an excuse...I'm just saying. I arrived at school to pick up the girls, and Kailey led us to the classroom where the auditions were being held. It was packed full of kids and a few parents. I didn't see any other parents lugging around guitars. I was hoping there would be a sheet posted with audition times, but no such luck. We would have to wait around until Kyra's name was called, and that could be a very long time. Fortunately, they sent all the kids who were playing instruments to another room to audition. We stuck around to watch a few of the acts...two girls with a gymnastics routine, two older boys cracking each other up with terrible jokes (What's the difference between a teacher and a train? The teacher says 'don't chew gum', but the train says 'choo, choo, choo'!), and two girls singing a duet...before someone noticed my guitar and sent us to audition with the instrumentalists, even though Kyra was singing. I didn't complain though. We probably cut our wait time down from an hour to ten minutes.

We arrived in the music room which was considerably less crowded with only about fifteen students waiting to audition. Much better. We listened to four auditions, all of which brought back memories as students played clarinet, flute, and saxophone arrangements of the very same tunes I learned at that age. Then the teacher turned to us. "And we have a guitar here?" she asked. Sharp as a tack, that one.

"Yeah, I'll be accompanying my daughter today."

"Great! And what song are you going to be singing today, Kyra?"

"I Miss You."

And with that, we were off. Kyra, did a fantastic job. She wasn't singing as loud or performing as animated as she had practiced, but that was understandable. This was her first audition, she was singing to a room full of strangers, and, oh yeah, she's seven. I watched her as I played, and my heart overflowed as she worked her way confidently through the song. I saw flashes of fame and fortune in her future, and it all started right here.

Then came the key change. Now I don't know if I was too focused on Kyra, too focused on my visions of grandeur, or if I was just plain tired, but I blanked...I couldn't remember the chords in the key change. I could feel the panic building from within, so I just stopped playing and collected myself for a moment. In the meantime, I thought Kyra's eyes were going to take over her head. I regained my bearings, gave her a cue in, and we finished the song to a modest applause, visions of grandeur blown to smithereens. Who knows, maybe I'm subconsciously trying to sabotage my daughter's music career.

I packed up my guitar and as we walked out to the car, Kyra, channeling her inner diva, stopped me. "Daddy," she deadpanned, "If we get picked, you're really going to have to practice."

She's so ready for Hollywood.

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