Monday, July 23, 2012

Perfection Praised

I know it isn't unusual for a parent to brag about their kid.  Frankly, I find it odd when they don't, and I worry about the parent/child relationship there.  But this post isn't being written for that reason although I, and my husband, are constantly proud of both of our adult children and their accomplishments.

Last Friday night, we were in the audience of an excellent production of the Stephen Sondheim musical play, "Assassins".  In the role of John Wilkes Booth, a major part in this work, was our son, Sean.  From his first entrance (I later realized), I divorced myself completely from the mother/son connection and witnessed a performance I later complimented as "brilliant" - that wasn't maternal flattery; he was brilliant.

To his credit, he has been performing since the ripe old age of 7, and has seriously studied and honed his acting craft continually.  He began by searching out the greats onscreen, both past and present.  More recently, he had the tutelage of an exceptional acting coach. He prepares for each role with a passion and energy that never fails to impress me.  And he's always dead on and fun to watch on the boards.

But this portrayal struck me like no other.  His singing voice, his command of his body to create the legendary figure, the timing and modulation of his words - everything he did on that stage - took me out of myself and drew me into the drama.  It wasn't until his curtain call that I found myself thinking, "I gave birth to that man!"  It was a moment of ego I revelled in.

Anyone who acts (as our whole family has done for decades) knows it isn't often that one watches another actor and encounters memorable excellence.  Yes, there are many fine actors who never fail to entertain and impress with their skill, but it is exceedingly rare when they can make you totally forget who they are and envelop you in the character they're portraying. Perfection is its name, and, when you see your own flesh and blood achieve that, it definitely needs to be lauded.

Bravo, my son!