A Star is Born


I am sitting on the comfy couch in Mary’s living room. Mary accompanies my daughter on the piano while she warms up her voice. She is singing—softly, at first, and then approaching forte—enunciating carefully in Italian.  I am reminded of a scene in a movie, in which a young lady of leisure performs her lessons.  It was a Victorian period piece; with Emma Thompson in a starring role, I think.

These voice lessons no longer feel like a luxury—they are as much a necessity as the SAT prep course that I took—as she prepares for auditions at colleges that I never considered attending.  Colleges with excellent Theater departments and conservatories for the Performing Arts.

Sitting on Mary’s couch, I consider the age-old question of nature versus nurture:  To what extent are we born with gifts and driven to develop them?  How much do we suppress them to conform to parental expectations and measures of success?

This one has an artistic soul.  I firmly believe that she emerged from my womb perfectly formed and possessing unique gifts.  At the same time, I recognize that she alone will choose to nurture her abilities as she sees fit, my parental desires notwithstanding.

Is a star born in the Labor & Delivery room or on the stage before her first audience? It doesn’t really matter, I guess. I was lucky enough to be present on both occasions.  And how grateful I am for my reserved seat in the front row of Mary’s living room.


Comments (5)

Simply beautiful! You ask good questions about nature and nurture, but you also pause to simply be grateful and that is a wonderful thing. No wonder your daughter is the way that she is.

Thank you, Fran, for your kind words, and for being such a loyal reader of the blog. I can see why you and Corey-Jan are friends.

A determined young lady, just like her mom

Our granddaughter also reached an astonishing degree of excellence in vocal artistry in high school. As a freshman she has found great satisfaction in her choice to enter Northwestern University. I hope it is on your list to consider.

Thanks, Olive! Northwestern is on her list, too.

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