I read a blog the other day, that was talking about 12 things every dad should do with their kid each year and how important it is to make moments with your child. It got me to thinking it is so important to make memories as a family. The article went on to say that by engaging in activities with your child, this helps spark their creativity and passion, that it’s like seeds laying dormant waiting to be awakened. By exposing our kids to these experiences and by sharing in these experiences with them, I feel they feel supported and can let loose and grow as a human being. As I always do, I try to find a connection of how this can be applied to theatre and more specifically the type of program we have at OBCT.
The most obvious tie in is to see a show with your kid. Certainly, it might be exposing them to something that can inspire and ignite a spark of passion in them. That’s how it happened for me. When I was 11 years old, my mom took me to see a touring production of “Annie” in Birmingham, Al and I new right then and there, I needed to be up on that stage with those little girls. Now although I never landed a national tour, theatre has afforded me the rich and blessed life I have lived and continue to live.’
By taking classes in the arts, you are allowing your child the opportunity to be mentored and guided and exposed to the very thing that has sparked their curiosity and interest. Although, you as a family don’t directly share the class involvement, unless you help out with the class, you share in the memories they relay to you every time they hop into the car after class. As they get older, they may act all cool like they don’t want to share any feedback from the class, but deep down inside if it’s truly something they have a passion for, they want someone to share those thought with and to support them.
Wow, being in a show certainly fits the bill on providing a creative outlet for your child. It’s like providing your child with multiple life lessons in one fail swoop and better yet they are building friendships along the way. All while pursuing their passion. It’s a win win all around.
While all those things are important, it is my hope that we have established something more at OBCT and I hope more children’s theatres around the country do as well. We say, our goal is to connect kids, but also know we connect families. Sure in our situation, we travel together to competitions and retreats which naturally helps us get to know one another together and form a bond. But I also think we connect families in the day to day life. If the walls in our studio could talk, you would see countless memories of families who have shared births of babies, deaths of loved ones, graduations, new pets, shared journeys through cancer and other terminal illnesses, awards that have been won, celebrated personal victories all shared with our extended family members at OBCT.
I know in my personal experience, it truly does take a village to raise a child and my family at OBCT has helped me raise my children. They have donated clothing, toys, fed my kids, worked magic to get them to sleep as babies, schlepped them through airports for me, come to my home at 2am in the morning to babysit while I see about a family emergency. All of these things would not have been possible without my OBCT family and the memories we have made together. This connected family we have here and the memories we create every day, are what fuel my passion and my own children and continue to spark our creativity every day. You can’t do life alone. We need each other.