Delco Idol

There are few types of parents that I find more distasteful than “stage parents”.  You know the type:  Moms and Dads who accompany their children to auditions, making their presence known while coaching their little darlings into doing something it’s not clear they really want to do.  My “ick factor” has always been high for these people… until I got dangerously close to becoming one of them.

I’m hoping that I have not contracted full blown “stage parentitis”.  In fact, I’m praying that I only have the 24 hour version of the disease.  Yesterday, Noah auditioned for a local singing competition called “Delco Idol”.  He signed up at, uh, my suggestion after I received an email about it.  I have been curious about how he would perform solo – away from the comfort of the middle school chorus or his band.  “Could be fun,” I mused.  He shrugged and said, “Sure, what the heck.”

Truth be told, I could listen to Noah sing all day long and not grow weary of his voice. (In fact, he would fare so much better off if he procrastinated, back talked, and harassed his little brother in musical verse.  When he starts to sing and I become mirthy maternal mush.)  Still I have often wondered if perhaps my adoration is just that – a Mom with a horribly biased opinion of her untalented offspring.  But then I remind myself of those areas where it is clear to me – his mother –  that Noah will never excel (sorry major league sports teams) and I stick with the conclusion that, yes, I am capable of being reasonably objective.  But if there were any remaining doubts, Delco Idol would set me straight one way or the other.

Auditions were held at the local community theater last evening.  We arrived 30 minutes early to get in the queue and were informed that the auditions were “closed” which means no Mommies allowed.  Noah shrugged.  Dave and Chase blinked. (I think)  I swallowed hard and faked nonchalance.

Being a competitive control freak Mom who loves deeply seems to lend itself to being a horrible stage parent.  You want to protect your kid from what you have gotten him into and make sure that he gets a fair shake.  As a newbie I had zero confidence in my capabilities to do either.  So I fretteed and tried not to let the entire scene get the best of me.  Instead of barking sporadic guidance at him, I just whispered to him the responses to my own doubts swirling around in my little head:

What if they don’t let him use his guitar? (Tell them I was told it would be ok)

What if he blurts out that he has summer camp during the final weeks of the competition?  (We’ll come back home if needed.)

What if he doesn’t sing loud enough? (This is a singing competition, not a guitar playing competition? Don’t get too soulful.)

What if he tries to get fancy on the guitar and messes up? (See “this is a singing competition” and don’t get fancy kid.)

What he tries to improvise unsuccessfully? (Stick to how you practiced it.  It sounded great at home.)

I eyeballed the competition for 30 slots and observed there was a 2 to 1 girl-to-boy ratio and that most of the kids there looked like seasoned thespians with killer pipes.  After a careful analysis of the odds, I calculated that I had no idea what Noah’s chances were.  I stayed close to him as we waited for his turn, gently reminding him to be careful so that he didn’t knock anyone over with the guitar he insisted on carrying around on his back.  And I pressed my nose against the two inch wide window on the door to the theater, straining to hear him as he auditioned.  In retrospect, I’m sure I looked like a complete lunatic.  Maybe even a (gulp) stage parent.

He came out happy and said it was fun.  He felt good about his performance.  And then, it didn’t matter whether he made it or not.  He had a good experience, in spite of my neuroses.  And for that I bought him a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup — and a Twix for Chase. 

If Delco Idol doesn’t love him, I sure as hell do.  And if given the chance, next time I’ll  he’ll  be as cool as a cucumber once again.   We should know by the weekend.

Update:  Noah made it into the competition!  You can see a snippet of his real audition here - at the 1:00 mark.  I’m sure you will be hearing more about this over the summer. 

Noah Sings Delco Idol Audition Song — “Save You” by Simple Plan – Living Room Session

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