About a year ago my son was told to audition for everything. He went on this interview process with really successful Broadway starts and many of them said the same thing. Go on as many auditions as you can. Network, network, network. Now while this sounded great in the beginning I soon found myself spending more time in my car than inside my home. I had to evaluate what the cost of yes was going to MY life.
Understand your child’s ambition
My son is a go-getter. If you tell him NO he has a million follow up questions that usually leads to him getting a YES! It an interesting negotiation tactic he has picked up in his short lifetime. While these skills will do well for him in the world, it tends to backfire at home. I’ve had to acknowledge his passion and drive for performing and honor his commitment to his craft.
Work your calendars
In my house, we have three working large wall calendars, two smaller planner/calendar combos and our phones. I have a rule in my house, if your event doesn’t make it to the digital calendar it does not exist. Using a digital calendar allows us to see overlapping auditions, performances, and meetings. It’s literally the easiest way to keep up with everyone’s different obligations.
Evaluate the real cost of a YES.
Sometimes saying yes costs you nothing as a mom. Other times it can cost you gas, hours of your time and more importantly your peace of mind. Our schedule stays hectic. As an entreprenuer, I have to balance my work schedule around my son’s work and social calendars. For instance, there was one day on our calendar with nothing there and he decided he wanted to hang with friends. While this was no big deal when I thought about losing my lazy Sunday and putting on pants, the cost of that YES was a little bit heavier than usual.
Make a list
Sometimes a YES will be a little more in dept. Every self-tape audition we get I have to really think about the next steps. I allow my mind to wander into the world of “what if.” If he books this gig what will it do to my life in the best and worst case scenario? If I can live with the hypothetical then he gets a Yes, if I can’t he doesn’t.
Consult your village
Sometimes a yes is necessary to help your child star achieve a goal. However, that Yes can cost you more then you are willing to give up as an adult. This is when having a solid tribe or village comes in. Can someone else sit on set? Can your child carpool? Is there someone else that can stand in your place where you can handle two things at once?
In the coming weeks, we will speak more about building your tribe and working your support system in a healthy way.