I am sorry I haven't posted in over a month! I wanted to make sure I didn't jinx his first year with the Nutcracker at The Fort Wayne Ballet by even saying things were going good or by saying anything at all. I would say from the start I had my apprehensions as to how well the little guy would do. It is weeks of practices and many late nights of rehearsal and then shows. Ask any 6 year old to sit still and be good for two to three hours backstage is hard enough, but with someone like Jacob its twice as hard. I am going to start at the beginning.....
Even before this season I was thinking about this a year ahead, always have to think ahead...we took him to see his sister perform in the 2013 Nutcracker and he fell in love with Drosselmeyer and his magic.
Next step...fast forward May 2014 end of year showcase. All ballet classes perform on the stage for the family show. Will he love it? Yep, ate it up and asked to tryout for nutcracker in the fall.
Tryouts: I have been through this 4 years with Sophia so I knew the drill. Well they give the kids numbers to be pinned to their shirts and cart them off in groups. Of course there is the worry he would complain about not being #1 and the pins bothering him through the shirt but they didn't....thank goodness! I thought it would be 30 minutes without seeing him, it ended up being over a hour. Without me there....I was freaking out and hoping there would be no huge meltdowns or issues. He came back smiling.
Cast lists: Worry set in, what if he didn't get a part? "Well he can't know what he's missing if he's never been in it" I was thinking. He got a part, it was a mouse, and it was exactly what he wanted!
Practice: I already talked with the teachers ahead of time about issues. They know he might not do well sitting in the classroom during the practices for over a hour with just waiting, so I kept him in the hall playing on his DS until his cast was needed. During his time waiting his turn in the classroom practices he made goofy faces at himself in the mirror, played with the laces on his shoes, or sat there humming the music. One time he did manage to get separated from the other boys and was playing with the equipment on the side of the room. I have to say overall he was great during practices and enjoyed doing his part.
Rehearsal nights: The longest nights. These were like a trial run really, and how would he handle wearing the makeup, the costume, the large stage, the lights and all the props? Well he did want to investigate props the first night, good get that out of the way. I know he was getting familiar with his surroundings and probably good so he can move on and next worry which was about the makeup the next night during dress rehearsal. Which of course he protesting putting on. Then protested putting costume on. I just used some slight of hand momma bear sweet talk and boom he was in it! LOL He did great were the reports that came back.
Show time: Jason and I had backstage passes just in case and throughout the whole thing we ended up using it three times. Honestly I was going to sit with him and be there the whole time. The more I thought about it I decided that would not be best. He needs to be independent and we were always downstairs if need be. I heard of issues in the dressing room, not from him but another child pestering him. I did have my little mother hen up there too, Sophia always looks out for him and it made my choice to stay downstairs even better. He was given some independence and he did ask for us and a break, I know it was to get away from the other child a few times and some were because the girls were so loud he couldn't read his Captain Underpants book. He complained of being hot in that costume and didn't like getting his makeup off either. He was even released early which helped with spending less time in the loud dressing room. During one of the shows he made me crack up. There are security guards that check the kids in and Jacob told one of them he needed to go into the girls dressing room to check how the girls were doing. The guards face was hilarious and I could tell he was trying to not laugh! He told him that he wasn't suppose to be in there, and of course Jacob protested. Jacob was supposed to be with all the little girls thou, the guard probably thought he was suppose to be with the younger boys since hes so big, but they put the little guys with the little girls, since they all come dressed in there stuff anyways. LOL
Overall: I was told by a handful of parents they thought he was a sweet child and they enjoyed him being there. My heart ....so full after hearing that he made it through this and made some new friends. I made sure to ask him while fresh in his head right as well left, what did you love about being in the nutcracker? I listed off all sorts of things like the stage, the music, costume and anything that popped into my head. His reply " Mommy I loved everything!" I then asked, What did you dislike about being in the Nutcracker? His reply " Nothing! I loved it all!" Then the big question, Do you want to do it next year? "YES!" was his reply. Well, we will see this next fall, we might be doing this all over again....