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Archive for April, 2009

The High School Student Playing Annie and My Daughter As "Little Annie"

The High School Student Playing Annie and My Daughter As "Little Annie"

My daughter Jessica is nine years old, and she wants to be in musicals when she gets to high school. She loves to sing (and is really good!) and has taken six years of tap/jazz.

Well, on April 4, she got a small taste of what it’s like on the acting stage as one of the “Little Annies” in the last scene of this year’s high school musical, Annie.

It all started on March 14, when our local school held tryouts for younger students to sing the final song with the high school cast. Jessica was one of 10 children chosen to take part in this unique experience (two Little Annies/Warbucks for each show for five showings). Jessica was scheduled for the afternoon we were attending, April 4.

The Little Annies got to see what practices were like when they joined the cast one night the week before to learn what they would be doing. It was then that Jessica saw how much work goes into putting on a musical. It was also then that we discovered the Little Annies/Warbucks would be more involved than we originally expected. Not only would Jessica be singing the final “Tomorrow” song with the cast, but she would be IN the final scene before that (singing the New Deal song and acting like one of the orphans with the regular cast members). Even further, during that last Tomorrow song, Jessica would be on the stage overhang in front of the band with the high school Annie/Warbucks — merely inches from audience members sitting in the front row! How exciting!

Another of the Little Annies chosen is a friend of Jessica’s from school, Chelsea (she joined Jessica on April 4), and one of the Little Warbucks attends our church (Gary). All of the children did such a wonderful job!

Jessica said the practice night was so much fun, exactly like she had hoped and what she wants to do in the future. I was so happy for her. She didn’t even seem to mind the long night (her little brother had trouble keeping quiet, though: Note to self: Do not take a 4-year-old to a high musical practice again.). She was on cloud 9.

April 4 was an exciting day for us (I could only imagine what it’s like for the parents of high school students who are part of the entire musical!). Jessica wore a red dress and fixed her hair in pigtails (she looked beautiful!), and, when it was her turn up there, she sounded just as beautiful. We could hear her singing, and it was amazing.

I had tears in my eyes, for so many reasons. My little girl was up there, singing beautifully, and I was so proud of her! Even beyond that, I knew she was doing something she loves. That made it so much more memorable, that she had this chance to do something she loves and to excel at it. Don’t we all want that for our children? To find something they are good at and enjoy doing. To find God’s calling in their lives…

Okay, maybe I’m getting a little melodramatic, but who says children can’t have callings? Jessica sings in the church choir, and I know God has called those children and the choir director. They work so hard and do a wonderful job glorifying God. What could be better than that?

My tears of joy were a combination of pride and love and wonder that God can help lead a 9-year-old to a calling that glorifies Him. God leads all of us, no matter what age. We just have to be open.

I know my daughter has a lot of growing up to do, and her calling may not remain the same her entire life. But whose does? I’m just thankful that God is showing her a wonderful way to glorify Him at such a young age. And I pray that He continues to show my children as they grow up. He shows us all — PRAISE GOD for that!

(At the top of this post is a picture of Jessica with the high school student, Casey, who played Annie in the musical. She and the other cast members, teachers, and everyone involved were so nice and helpful. They really made the younger kids feel welcome. Thank you all for such a memorable experience!)

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