... or at least a "see you later".
(Alex in his costume for Boris Godunov at the Lyric Opera)
After much back and forth, Alex has finally decided to take an extended break from acting. He really enjoyed acting, but I'm not sure he ever did it for the "right" reasons. He got into it when we homeschooled and I think it had more to do with him needing a place to belong and some recognition too. He really enjoyed the camaraderie with the other kids (and adults) in the shows he was in. He also enjoyed the recognition he got. I don't believe that he was ever really that into acting itself. Now, with school and his neighborhood friend, he doesn't need it in the same way. In fact, it gets in the way of the things he really wants to do. He's not a big fan of having to leave his friend's house early to go to the opera. He does it and really enjoys it once he's there, but he would much rather hang out with his friend. The really tough thing for him is school. He truly loves his school and hates having to miss. With this one opera alone, he had to miss three half days. He was not pleased... especially since so much of what they do in school are cool group projects. Missing those afternoons meant missing out on something cool. He needed to do this one last opera for it to hit home though. He didn't think it would bother him much, but it did. Because of that, he began to turn down parts and decided to not even audition for things that he normally would have jumped at. We had our final talk about this after he got a call from an agency about a shoot they wanted him for. He asked me about the commitment and I told him that he would miss 1 1/2 days of school (1/2 to get his work permit and at least one day for the shoot). He said no. We talked... now we no longer check audition listings, we've removed him from the agency's list, we're just living life! The one thing that he's still part of is the young ensemble group. But I think that's more than just "acting" to him... he has two friends from school in the group and two from youth group at church.
I'm very proud of the boy for maturely making this decision. He is the happiest now that I've seen him in a long time. He's getting the recognition he needed before, but now he's getting it for things that are really "him". Academics are his thing and that's where his affirmation is coming from now. He is thriving in his new school. Socially, he's made good friends at school and is no longer constantly looking for a group to belong to. He has his group that he sits with at lunch, plays games with at recess or works together with in class. And he has neighborhood friend that he spends hours with on the weekends. Life is good.
So, tomorrow night is the last of it (for a while at least)... perhaps we need to celebrate the end of an era and the beginning of a new one! :-)