Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stage mom 101

Contrary to common belief and stereotype thinking, being a stage mom is no mean thing. It is not bad, nasty, aggressively loud, troublemaker or winning-whatever-it-takes. Perhaps that definition is the accepted description or stereotype label. Society is all agog about stereotypes anyways. But in essence, being a stage mom is the greatest thing a mom or parent could ever experience in a teenager’s life.

For me, stage mom is being a professional coach – life coach if you wish; image consultant; speech and language adviser; morale booster; facilitator; positive critic rolled into one. That is the essence of a stage mother. No emotional drama; no gimmick.

A stage mom doesn’t interfere with event requirements, rules and processes. But if these requirements disadvantage the well-being of her teenager, then she speaks. If the requirements exploit, embarrass, humiliate and harass her teenager, then she sets her foot down. You didn’t raise your child well only to be exploited, embarrassed, humiliated and harassed by others. That’s a big no-no.

A stage mom coaches her teenager to maximize his life; have fun and enjoy the experience. After all, the experience is exclusive for that precise moment. It is unique. It will not come back. The future experiences will be different. So just live in and embrace the moment. And most importantly, to assure him that winning is a bonus.

A stage mom sits quietly in one corner together with the rest of the make-up artists. She sees and watches the seemingly surreal but real scene of gay make-up artists taking care of their wards. She enjoys their bonding; camaraderie; quiet competition and even nasty and rude barbs. At times, she even witnesses the gays quarrelling over some minor but annoying event rules. It’s all part of the drama called “behind the scenes”. But mostly, the stage mom revels in the gay lingo openly spoken at the backstage. Haha it is fun listening to gay speak. It is totally amusing.

As consultant, your instincts are sharp. When you sense that your teenager is losing steam, you reinforce him with encouraging words. You are his steady rock when his nerves go awry. You are his soothing voice when someone throws a punch that causes him to lose his balance. You talk perspective when he starts to get myopic. You remind him of the bigger picture when things get hazy. All this and more; that’s the role of a stage mom. It’s not easy but it’s cool. And best of all, you get the admiration from the rest of the young people who observe your quiet demeanor and self-effacing involvement in the event. They come to you openly to state their appreciation wow! It is good for the heart. Totally!

So, who says that being a stage mom is bad?

On the contrary, it’s the coolest thing ever. And the greatest reward is when your teenager is declared a winner. That is beyond cool haha.

Food for thought: When love is gone, there's always justice. And when justice is gone, there's always force. And when force is gone, there's always Mom. Hi, Mom! -Laurie Anderson

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