My Inner Stage Mom

The School Talent Show: A cacophony of singing voices lofty and low, mixed with toe taps, sequins, and stage moms. I spent so many years as the auditioner, that the flood of tummy butterflies and adrenalin for a performer is old hat. I can navigate it with a few deep breaths and a reality check.

Now put my daughter on stage or in an audition and it’s like going from a tricycle to a Harley. The experience is in a class all its own! The stage mom is an interesting animal, though, and I refuse to become one. Outwardly at least…

Our county has a huge charity talent showcase every year, showcasing many children in grades K-12. Last year, my first-grade Hip Chick said to me out of the blue, “Mom, I want to sing on stage this year.” So being a vocal coach and music teacher, of course I was really happy. I’ve tried so hard not to push the girls into performing or put undue pressure on them, though. Despite my attempt, they are just meant for the stage!

Last summer, I thought I would steer Hip Chick (7), Princess (5), and Little Pea (3) toward a sport, so I bought them a tee, bat and ball. After 10 minutes of playing the right way, they proceeded to transform the tee into a microphone and belt out Hannah Montana songs all over the neighborhood!

So last year, HipChick sang “Castle on a Cloud” from Les Miserables, and quite well, if I do say so myself! (hear last year’s performance below) We had a wonderful costume and set, and even smeared ‘dirt’ on my little Eponine’s face. As I prepared HipChick for her audition, I told myself, “OK, this is it! You cannot turn into a backstage lurker who insists that her child enter every show- and win!” Of course, that’s not my personality, but I do want her to succeed so badly, it’s overwhelming sometimes.

She got in the show, which was great – in some ways. I prayed that her first success would not set her up for unrealistic expectations in future auditions, as I repeated the mantra, “Just do your best, and whatever happens, you’ll be proud!”

So here we are at the second year of auditioning. This year, we chose an equally cute, but less theatrical song, called “Be Kind to Your Parents.” I thought I might be less compulsive about lurking at the backstage door, but alas. After dropping Hip Chick off at the music room door, and being perfectly content to wait outside, I heard her music start. The minute the sound waves hit my ear, ‘Stage Mom’ took over, although she managed to disguise herself rather well as ‘Well-Adjusted Mom.’ That is, until one of the other moms chimed in, “Don’t you want to watch? You can see through little this window.”

That was all it took! I crept over to the door, crouching down so ‘Stage Mom’ wouldn’t blow her cover. I stealthfully witnessed my sweet songbird belt out the lyrics, then transformed in time for HipChick to greet ‘Well-Adjusted Mom’ in the hall. Walking away, I repeated the mantra, “You did your best…” Inside, I thought I would burst if she didn’t make it.

I guess you can take the mom out of the stage, but… well, you know the rest.

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About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. Edie--WAHM of 2 says:

    I can totally relate! Last year, I was asked to coach my 7 yo's soccer team. The league has a "policy" where ONLY the words "Good, Great & Go" can be yelled from the sidelines. Guess who got fined during the FIRST game??? :-)It was all in fun. Guess many of us have an inner "stage mom" that gets out now and then!


  2. Jen @ One Moms World says:

    Wow… can you say the next American Idol? She is awesome. I’m sure she got in right? 🙂


  3. Classic MaMa says:

    Ex-theater teacher here. I looked through the window when my Scarlett auditioned for Pollyanna a few years ago. 🙂 I saw her, she knew I was watching and so, “you were great” meant a lot more. She didn’t get the part, but it was a wonderful opportunity to walk her through disappointment.


  4. Annabelle says:

    cosette, not eponine, sings “castle on a cloud” (eponine sings “on my own,” the other most popular song from les mis)

    fact-checking stage manager


  5. Anonymous says:

    Iam surprised you are a vocal coach. This child is pushing her voice too much and not singing in her head voice- which is much more appropriate for a seven year old.


  6. Real Life Sarah says:

    Yes, she did push a little too hard on this performance. Her music teacher actually pressed into her head that she had to sing "loud" where I use words like breathe deeply, and open tall. We corrected it before her final audition.


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