but that’s not why i’m proud


Dear Katie,

I couldn’t be happier that you got a part in your first high school musical. I am so, so excited for you. I know how much you wanted this. I know how much it means to you — on so very many levels.

It’s awesome, kiddo — truly nothing less than awesome that as a freshman you got any role at all no less an actual character with a name and dialogue and even a few solo lines of music.

I’m so, so proud of you.

But I’m not proud because you got the part.

You see, theater, like life, is not always (or even often) a meritocracy. You can be the world’s best actress and its most talented singer, but if you’re too tall, too short, too thin, too thick, too blonde, too not-blonde, too perky, too serene, too new, too familiar, too exotic, not exotic enough, etc, etc …. well, you ain’t getting the part, sister. Perhaps you didn’t know the right person or maybe just weren’t what they had in mind.

Sometimes the results will be what you want them to be. Far more often, they won’t. And what I need you to know is that no matter which happens, I will be just as proud of you as I am right this very second.

I’m proud because you did the work. Because you put in the time and the sweat equity that your first high school audition deserved. I’m proud because you researched the play, memorized your lines, sought advice from upperclassmen and student directors. I’m proud because you showed up at the dance audition even though you were still on crutches just because you “just [wanted] them to know [you were] committed.”

And I’m proud that you said, “If I don’t get a part, I’ll do tech. Because as much as I really want to perform, being a part of it is the most important thing.”

Above all, I’m proud of you for putting yourself out there for something that you wanted, even when you knew that the chances of success were slim.

So while I’m thrilled that you got the part, it’s not the reason, nor will it ever be, that I’m so damned proud of you. 

I love you so much, kiddo.









2 thoughts on “but that’s not why i’m proud

  1. This is one of your very very best.How fortunate is this child to have a mom that not “only” gets it but has the verbal acumen to verbalize like art itself…Very proud DAD and GRANDPA

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