Monday, October 12, 2009

A Lesson in Self Worth

You may have been expecting me to come back from my hectic weekend, gushing about how absolutely stupendous it was seeing VC perform.

Instead, prepare yourself for one of my more melodramatic posts.

First, I want to semi-gush because as you saw, VC looked the part and performed amazingly. Yet, as I watched him in action working as a street performer on Sunday, a part of me was dying as I saw the extremes he would go through to entertain in the hopes of earning a tip. It was literally tugging at my heart strings. But then I tend to be that way. My level of empathy for this kind of thing knows no bounds.

To earn any money, he was having to pull out all the big tricks, in spurts - which is incredibly physically demanding: a 5 club sequence to 7 ball jugging to 3 diabolos over and over and over. By the end of the day he was physically exhausted (and I was mentally exhausted!).

(zoom in on pictures to see the expressions on their faces- love it!)

It appeared that a few feathers may have been ruffled when other performers saw that his level of technical skill was on par with stage acts. What VC needs to hone is his performance skills. And that is what he is going to be learning over the next two months. To come up with a "schtik."

He is already beginning to learn how to work a crowd, having people toss clubs and balls to him and making corny one-liners.

Fortunately by next weekend he will have his juggling partner with him, which should take away some of the physically demanding stuff. Eight hours is a long day, and with a buddy they'll be able to do an act together, with lots of "filler" in with the juggling.

He can't wait for this to happen, and neither can I - because I know that he can't continue to work as hard as he did this weekend without feeling that he is losing a tiny bit of his self-worth. The mother in me wants to tell him that he his way too talented and classy for all this, but I'll bite my tongue, since it is something he enjoys, encourage him to take the physically demanding stuff down a notch and pray that it all works out in the end.

See, I told you it would be all melodramatic. That's how I roll lately....

26 comments:

Kathie @ my net finds said...

I think that is so awesome! I admire anyone who can perform and interact with a crowd. I couldn't do it because I'd want to do what I want to do, not what makes the crowd happy. ;-)

Janna Bee said...

I agree with Kathie- interacting with a crowd and performing would be so difficult.

I wouldn't worry too much about his self worth, he is doing something he loves, right? It's like blogging- we all do it all the time, yet there is no actual PAYOFF. (Well a little bit, but definitely not worth the amount we all put into it.)

As long he gets a little help with the physical demands, he'll be okay. I can't even imagine 8 hours of juggling-it sounds exhausting!

Melissa B. said...

Not soooooooo melodramatic. But you must be a Proud Mommy! Won't be long, I reckon, before VC hits the bigtime, huh?

Rebecca Jo said...

wow!!!! that's a long day for someone so young... I'm sure they all loved him though... but yeah, if he could learn to interact with the people more & entertain vocally instead of physically all the time - it may help him not be so exhausted! Hey - mamaw, you can be part of that act!! How about it? You can switch out with him & belly dance! hehe!!!

Karen said...

You need to bring him to Boulder in the summertime to see all the buskers doing their thing. They have the showmanship down...

Michele said...

Oh wow... that certainly does take some talent, and such a great learning experience for him. What a good mom you are for supporting him...!!

Randi Troxell said...

i bet he was tired... but wow! i think he rocks too.. what a cool one he is!

Tammy Howard said...

That's the life of a performer... It's not an easy road he's chosen. but it IS, I'm told, a very rewarding one.

He's doing great, Momma.

Aunt Juicebox said...

He looks awesome! I have spent a lot of time talking to some of the performers at our renfest, and I don't envy them their lives, the ones who travel around the country, making this their living. It takes a certain personality type to want to live like a nomad, essentially. But they do seem to enjoy themselves.

Not to worry you, or give you any ideas, but I've seen a few performers who juggle fire. Now that's something to really worry about.

angelcel said...

I understand entirely the angst that you felt but that day will have been a valuable part of the learning curve. In my, extremely limited, experience [mostly watching street performers in places like Covent Garden in London], the 'spiel' is as important as the act. If there is anywhere he could go and watch the real professionals he might get some ideas on his own 'spiel', and the 'spiel' is what draws people in, endears the artist to the public (more tips!) and gives the artist breathing time.

Don't *I* sound like the quintessential expert? ... because really I perform every weekend on street corners with a piano and a capuccin monkey called Mike. [Jayne looks at half-finished glass of wine, thinking maybe she has had enough already).

Seriously, it looks like he did a tremendous job and you must be absolutely brimming with pride. :)

Aleta said...

You can see how much he is enjoying it in the picture and how much the crowd is appreciating it too! Not something I could do, Kudos to him! That's brave!!

McVal said...

That's a tough job! I'm very impressed that he can perform and interact like that with all those kids and families and keep their attention rapt!
Cool! I'll bet his self-worth, altho beaten down right now, will come back with 3X the size within a few days when he sees these pictures and remembers the kids faces!
He's got to feel proud of his work!

Fashionista said...

I would have loved to see it myself! This is incredible!

Shraddha@theselfloveproject said...

very brave soul..

i could not pull it off..

Amanda said...

Girl... I know EXACTLY what you are talking about!!
(if you will indulge me)
The other day on the playground (that's how *I* roll) Colton went up to some girls who promptly ignored him. He kept trying to get their attention and they kept trying to get rid of him. He did a leap and a twirl and fell and hit is head where I promptly ran over to save him.
He was un-phased and went right back to trying to impress them...at his expense.

I gotta tell you Carma... it was HEARTBREAKING to see my child want to please a stranger so badly... so see his eyes as he realized they were not going to befriend him... to watch his first bout of rejection and know there was NOTHING I could do to change it.

I am STILL scarred by the incident, and often wonder if he thinks about it...

(I am still considering blogging about this... you might have given me the kick in the butt I needed to do it)

So I KNOW how you feel girl and I wish I could give you a hug!

Amanda

Laura said...

He is AMAZING!! I think what he does is awesome and I can imagine watching that as a mom would be hard but he really is SO talented!

blueviolet said...

Your mom protective instincts are coming out and I think that's a good thing!

I can only imagine his exhaustion by the end of it. Bravo to him for even being up to trying something like that. And I'm sure he'll get more and more comfortable with it as he continues to do it.

Mark said...

ObiWan says that Self Esteem and Confidence comes from taking that (hard) first step, continuing to do it and learning from it everday.

Carma, when he's rich & famous and buying you some cheeseballs in the future, he'll remember that first paying gig and (of course) your support :-)

~Kristen~ said...

You're such an awesome Mom!!! And VC just seems like such a great kid and I have to think he gets some of that greatness from you!

I am sure it was hard for you to watch him struggle a bit, but I so admire you for just letting him be and do his thing the way he felt he needed to at the time. Too often I see parents swooping in and just wanting to do everything for their kids ... and as a result there are a lot of kids and young adults walking around nowadays with a HUGE sense of entitlement. Adults are not doing kids any favors by coddling them. It seems to me you know where that line is and you have found the right balance.

Your son will continue to do amazing things! And he will because you both encouraged AND let him find his way!

Big hugs to you!!! xoxo

Dr.John said...

I don't think it was as melodramatic as it was just plain caring.

Yaya said...

Look out New York, he's a STAR!

Christina said...

Hopefully things will get easier as he goes. Having the partner will help too. I can only imagine what it must be like to stand by and watch him push himself so hard. I'm sure you are so proud.

Kaylen said...

This is great!!!
I love the looks on their faces!

Lucy said...

He looks great! And I bet he was enjoying what he was doing.

It is always harder TO WATCH!

Remember, he is learning, that means all the bad with the good.

What it means for the parents, we hate to watch the BAD!!!

Hang in there!

kyslp said...

Wow! I can't even walk down the street and chew gum at the same time. My oldest would like to learn to juggle but I'm afraid he would get too frustrated and angry.

Housewife Savant said...

VC got his awesomeness from you.

But can he juggle cheeseballs?

Maybe he needs a trademark, aside from his serious talent, something whimsical to go with his schtik.

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