Danger in the Manger!
As we speak, throughout the country, shepherds’ crooks are being fashioned out of walking sticks, teachers are frantically googling images of frankincense and tinsel is being sewn onto everything that moves…Nativity time is finally here!
A magical time that stirs up memories in all of us. Memories of Joseph picking his nose, Mary dropping baby Jesus and one of the Shepherds wetting himself on stage.
By this time, the auditions are done, the cast is set and lines are being learnt. But what happens if your child didn’t get the part they wanted?
Yes, it is heart-breaking to see your child disappointed and upset but try to stay calm.
Trust the Teacher!
Remember that the child you have with you at home is often very different to the character they present at school.
Often, children are happy to sing, dance and put on plays at home but may be reserved and quiet amongst their peers at school.
With a limited number of main parts, some children will have to be given the smaller roles. Your child is obviously the centre of your universe but schools have to meet the needs of hundreds of pupils.
I once witnessed a parent complaining that her child’s self esteem was irrevocably damaged because he had been cast as 2nd lead in a play. She had lost all sense of perspective and 10 years later it still astounds me.
Do Your Research.
Much of the playground chat is currently centred around the random array of characters in the less traditional versions of The Nativity. Bats, musical dogs and fairy tale characters provide enough parts for what would otherwise be a very small cast.
Some parts are often created to suit the needs of less outgoing individuals. I was once cast as a tree and I was so nervous I was sick on the day!
Be Open-Minded and Positive!
Have a look at how much dialogue, singing, movement the part requires.
Your child may have been cast in a silent role because they are brilliant at being patient and quiet!
If they would prefer to have been given more singing and acting, consider signing them up for a club that will develop these skills and improve their confidence.
Remember it’s not a competition!
What may seem important to us won’t register in our child’s thoughts. When my daughter was recently cast as Mary, I was so pleased to know that she hadn’t inherited my stage fright.
When I asked her about the audition, she explained that she hadn’t auditioned for Mary. It transpired that she wanted to be the barking dog but nobody wanted to play Mary, so my daughter offered to do it in order to help the teacher!
Last but not least, Enjoy Every Moment! The Nativity years pass so quickly and you will soon be yearning to return to this innocent and carefree time.