Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Adventures of a Mile High Thespian

It began with a ‘hard knock life’ and ended with ‘tomorrow.’  However, Maya has never been a hard knock life and tomorrow is just a metaphor for something more to do.  The youngest actress in our extended family just added another play to her acting resume. Now in addition to skiing black diamonds, double black diamonds and, last season, extreme black diamonds, third-grader Maya Charlotte LaComb can add budding thespian to her growing list of accomplishments.

Now, making her bed every morning…yeah, not so much.

This was my eldest granddaughter’s third theatrical performance in as many years.  In the first two she was just wallpaper but didn’t seem to mind. This season Maya really wanted a speaking role but once again just ended up an orphan. Mind you, a singing, dancing, animated orphan but mute none-the-less. By third grade Maya was disappointed with no speaking part…I didn’t speak in public until high school. Go figure!

I’m sensing that Maya’s acting chops are getting sharper with each season’s cache of plays to perform. Truth be told, the roar of the greasepaint seems to be getting louder with each of her performances.  Papa couldn’t be prouder.

Not because I think the theater is in her future…nor performing on stage in a room full of envious soccer moms and wiggling siblings.  Instead it’s in Maya’s own projected animation when she speaks about performing that I find her bubbling enthusiasm most contagious.

I’ve seen that same fire in the eyes and hunger in the belly of my own children when they talked about subjects they were interested in.  You can’t implant passion or focus or drive in a kid. They have to find it within themselves. All an adult can do is lead their child in as many directions as possible and see which path they choose to follow.

I want Maya to find her own way in the world.  And hopefully not be distracted by those wizards behind the curtain whose focused packaging of American girls, vanilla princesses, frozen pre-teens and cable channel sub-par stars only exist to promote the latest (manufactured) and (profitable) teen trends.

We had a chance to see this young woman in action when she came back to Minnesota with us after our visit to Colorado.  Her week-long whirlwind visit to Minnesota was complete with: 

Visiting the Eagle Center in Wabasha where she traced the pages for her new book on eagles and rode the carousel at Lark Toys.

 On the way home we stopped by the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder. One adventurous young woman following in the footsteps of her favorite author. She also learned how to make a quilt with Nana.

Brennan and Charlotte insisted on seeing their cousin as much as possible.  To celebrate her birthday early at their house and then again at our place where they played an energetic game of tag.

Now Maya can also add budding wordsmith to her list of accomplishments. She researched and created a book on the Cheyenne Indians for a school project. Then at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha she traced a number of images for a book on eagles. Papa typed out the text as Maya dictated it.

While I can’t match Maya on the ski slopes perhaps we can challenge each other as authors as we collectively try to capture those fleeting thoughts, ideas and images swirling around in our respective  heads. Not a bad way to dance with someone so young and talented.

So in the end Maya left Minnesota with a lot of wonderful memories. And Nana and Papa got to see our precocious eight-year-old on the cusp of some very interesting first steps. Perhaps it started with ‘Clifford’ long ago but Maya is certainly racing forward with a lot of imagination today.

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