Ever since I took Annabel to see Beauty and the Beast last year, she’s been asking me about doing theatre. She’s finally old enough to do some of the summer theatre camps in our area, and last week she participated in her first week-long camp, dedicated to learning a short version of Alice in Wonderland.
Annabel was SO excited when I dropped her off for her first day. As she got out of the car she said, “I hope I’m Alice!” I reminded her that not everyone can be the “star,” and everyone gets their chance to shine. When camp started, she found out that they were also going to decorate their own costumes. Art and acting made it the Best! Camp! Ever!
When Annabel came home after the second day of camp, she said, “Mommy, Mommy, guess what?! I get to be Tweedle Dum!!” I said, “That’s so amazing! Are you so happy?” And she replied, “Yeah! I get to be funny! That’s kind of my thing.” I also found out later that Tweedle Dee was going to be played by a seven-year-old girl, which meant Annabel got to hang with an older girl for all of camp – basically her nirvana.
I was surprised to see that Annabel’s character actually had about eight lines of dialogue, and it all required her to time it with Tweedle Dee’s character, which wasn’t easy. Plus, Annabel’s reading skills are not good enough for her to learn the lines on her own, so we had to help her. She was shockingly determined to learn her lines immediately, and would ask Mike and me repeatedly to help her, which we were of course happy to do.
In all, the kids only had Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to learn their lines, with the show on Friday. Mike and I thought for sure that the kids would forget all of their lines, but we totally underestimated them. The group started with a song, and then went right into the action. As Tweedle Dum, Annabel didn’t come out until about halfway through the six-page play.
The girls were all so cute. I could tell they were all pretty nervous at first, but they quickly got comfortable. Still, I was anxious for Annabel to come out with her Tweedle Dee. So was James – as soon as she came out, he shouted, “It’s Annie! Annie, it’s Annie!” Luckily, Annabel was so focused on her lines that she didn’t even hear him.
Her big moment was a sing-song and dance she performed with Tweedle Dee, and they nailed it.
“How do you do and shake hands and state your name and business!”
She didn’t forget a single line! I was so proud of her. But I was mostly so happy to see how proud she was of herself. She worked so hard, and she’d been so worried that she’d forget a line and she didn’t.
After the show, we gave her flowers and I just couldn’t stop hugging her.
Although, I definitely had competition in the “Number One Fan” department:
She’s been on cloud nine ever since their show, and it’s been really fun to see how happy the camp made her. She’s doing another camp in a couple weeks (they’re putting on Frozen, getting soooo excited about all the “Let It Go” in my future.) and she’s looking forward to it even more now. I’m glad that she likes it, but what I really like is how confident she seems to be because of it. She’s making new friends, and with Kindergarten starting in August I’m feeling a lot more relaxed about her entering a new environment where she doesn’t know anyone. The ability to get along with new people is a hard skill to learn, and it seems like the kid has already mastered it.