July 12, 2012 by Neil
Now with an update below.
I’m no extrovert…..as people who know me will tell you. I can stand up at a conference and speak, I can hold the attention of a board room, I can even manage to make people laugh…..now and again. But my preference is for conversations in smaller groups. It is just the way that I am.
My son is very like me in this respect. Or so I thought.
At the beginning of the year he got his grades and his drama mark was….well it was ok. Not bad, not good, just pretty average. James is academically strong, he is bright. He is also a good sportsman, not the best, but a good team player and a member of the cricket and rugby squads. He isn’t an actor. Or so I thought.
On the back of his grades, he announced that he was going to join the drama club. He wasn’t happy and he wanted to improve his grade. The only person more shocked than us was his drama teacher. Because he isn’t like that. Or so I thought.
Last night, we sat and watched the end of year performance. It was a Little Red Riding Hood mash-up with comedy, timing, one liners, interplay and significant dialogue. And there was James playing one of the major roles. Maybe not the star this time, but he was on and off stage throughout and with many, many lines.
And he rocked.
He was confident, his timing was impeccable, he was humorous and his delivery was word perfect. This was not my son.
But of course it was, and I was wrong.
Independently he had assessed his strengths and weaknesses, he had the courage to identify where he needed to develop and he had the balls to go and do it. He didn’t say, “its not me” he didn’t say “I’m not an actor”, he didn’t say “I’m not like that”.
He said, “I’m going to show you that I can do anything I set my mind to”.
He didn’t say, “That is just the way that I am”.
Now there’s a thing.
We’re adults, we know everything. They’re kids, they know nothing. Or so I thought.
What if we all set about tackling one thing that we know we’re just not that good at?
Update: So, he recently auditioned and has just landed the role of Bugsy in the full production of Bugsy Malone. I’m proud, but more than that I’m amazed at how much you can achieve when you put your mind to it. Well done that man, we can all learn from children.