Break a leg

February 4, 2008

by Jen Bakken

Last week, many students in third through sixth grades tried out for 101 Dalmatians.

The play auditions were conducted in the Delano Middle School auditorium, under the direction of Barb Roy, from the drama department, along with high school drama club members.

Students were divided up by grade level, then led through the audition process.

While watching the hopeful actors prepare for their turn on stage, it was obvious that most of them were very nervous.

A closer look revealed that, although they were a little uneasy, they were also excited at the same time.

My son was one of those tense but thrilled students anticipating the chance to show the drama department his expressive acting skills. I told him to break a leg and he asked me, “Why in the world do people say that?”

I wasn’t sure why it meant good luck, or where it started, and decided I’d check into it. Using the Google search engine, I really couldn’t find out much other than it is a superstitious expression used to replace saying “good luck,” and there are many theories as to its origin.

I’m not sure if the saying helped my son, and I don’t think the audition went as well as he had hoped. The disappointment was clear on his face. He wanted so badly to impress everyone, including mom. He wasn’t the only student who struggled a little, wiped a few tears, or looked to mom for comfort.

It made me remember back to when I was his age. When I was young, there is no way I could have went through an audition process.

I probably wouldn’t have been able to speak or even stand in front of a room of people. I told my son that everyone who tried out should be proud of themselves, whether they got a part in the play or not.

They should be proud that they got up on stage and tried. I’m sure many other parents said those same words.

To all the students that tried out, whether you got a part or not, be proud of yourself for trying. There will be more auditions, more plays, and more opportunities to break a leg.