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Stage Mom Chronicles: Beyond Pride Rock

Last night I had a dream my son met Mufasa.

When I woke up to see the photos on my phone it was not a dream. Mufasa had taken the time to speak to my son.

This post isn’t written to impress you. It’s not even written to be a polished piece. It’s simply a collection of my thoughts as a mother, not a Mom-ager.

Last June my son auditioned to play the role of Mufasa in the Junior Theatre Festival which starts today. I’ll be honest in the beginning I was against it, but as a homeschool student, I have not found other opportunities for him to compete in competitions within a group setting.

He absolutely nailed the role of Mufasa and was given the part. For months he and his troop mates have worked hard preparing for the festival this weekend. We realized the Lion King tour was coming the week of the festival so when we got tickets we were elated!

Traffic was pure hell.

I ended up dropping Marshall off and letting him go get our tickets. I had to park two lights from the theatre and high tail it uphill within 10 mins before the show would start.
I made it…barely in time to catch my breath and find our way to our seats. The opening number “Circle of Life” was phenomenal. As the singers filled the isles and their voices carried throughout the space we were completely embodied by the spirit of our ancestors. We watched the first act in amazement.

During intermission, Marshall went on Instagram and had a DM from Mufasa. He said he’s sent me (his mom) a message about meeting after the show… Insert sideways glance at my kid. Say What? It was legit. I checked my messages and there it was in black white. “Would you be interested in a backstage tour after the show?”

HELL YES!

Act two couldn’t end fast enough.

It was beautiful. It was engaging and impactful but in the back of my mind all I could think was is my battery charged enough on the phone? Do I film this meeting or snap pictures? Man, I hope my feet hold up for this. Okay, Kim get it together you got this.

The show ends and we make a mad dash out the side door to the Stage Door. The minutes seem long as we wait outside in the fog. As the crowd begins to grow at the Stage Door we were swept away backstage and this rush of emotion overtakes me. The actors are no longer in makeup and costumes. Everyone looks “normal.” I have no idea who anyone is now. (The beauty of showbiz).

This incredibly tall and handsome man is introducing my son to various characters. He walks us through life backstage from the actors’ eyes. Makeup stations, sign-in sheets, costumes, set pieces etc. Then it happens.

We walk out on the stage of the Fabulous Fox Theatre and I want to melt. My son is standing on a stage looking out to an empty house, but for the first time, we now understand the magnitude of how big this place is. As we walk through the various markings on the floor and listen to how the show is brought together, I’m thinking back to how six months ago being Mufasa was a dream role and now he’s standing here with the touring cast Mufasa.

I snapped several pictures. Most of them walking or standing and talking. I have a few posed shots but those don’t tell the story. G. Ramsey took the time to answer any questions. They talked about his process for auditioning for the show and then they talked about Hamilton.  I was super tickled.

 

He gave him some amazing advice and offered help in any way he could. He told us his story. While I have decided to hold on to the information he shared with us, I will say, watching my son have the opportunity to speak with G. Ramsey as Mufasa, a man, a big brother and new friend was more than could I have ever asked for in that moment. It was genuine. It was truthful and made me appreciate my role in the process.

Most people have to leave home and chase their dream to be on Broadway. Having a mother that allows her son to do this right now is not the norm, especially for people of color. For whatever reason it may be, black and brown faces are still the minority in this industry. As I had a chance to listen in on their conversation, my heart was filled. The favor of God is upon my son’s life and whatever path he takes, whatever role he is given, whatever journey his life and talent take us on are my divine assignment from above.

This meeting of the Mufasa’s will forever be ingrained in my mind, my heart and my spirit.

~K.B.

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