Ten Tips on Doing a Live Play With Your Daughter

1. There’s no amount of perfume, powder and deodorant that is too much. Buy extra and give it as gifts on opening night to the whole cast.

2. Don’t drink before the show. And no, I’m not talking about alcohol. I mean anything. Because after you’ve put on a leotard, dance tights, biker shorts, a dress and a long velour robe, it’s kind of a pain in the butt to pee. Which I did on average four times per show. Even with my rule.

3. It’s good to eat a little something before the show each night to give you the energy you’ll need to push through to the curtain call. It is not, however, good for that “little something” to be sushi. That stuff will repeat on you all night. And raw fish in your stomach? Not so good after four hours.

4. When trying to decide between being comfortable and being MODEST, choose modesty. Every time. Never mind the fact that adding a layer of Spanxy scuba suit underneath everything made me even hotter. I was so covered and sucked in that I could’ve streaked through the place in my nude unitard and not (completely) died of embarrassment.

5. Pay close attention when they’re teaching the choreography … and don’t miss ANY practices. Otherwise, after you’ve performed the dance move that is done three times a night in seven of the eight performances (that’s 21 times for anyone not gifted mathematically), your darling daughter will inform you that you have been doing it wrong. Every time. On video. For a live audience.


Here’s what I was wearing for my TWENTY-ONE mistakes.

6. And while I’m on the subject … if you forget a lyric, a dance move, a stage direction, make up for it with unbridled enthusiasm. If you don’t look nervous, you’ll look less like you’re making a mistake. Or so my brain has protected me into believing.

7. When asked if you want to share a dressing room with all the other adult women in the cast OR switch teams to share a room with your daughter and all the other children, sweetly kiss your girl on the cheek and tell her you’ll see her after the show. (I need to remember this advice for next year.)

8. Unless …. you want to overhear things like the girl who talked about her mom who (supposedly) says, “Fix your OWN dinner! I’m playing Words With Friends!” (If that poor woman knew I’d heard that … and was now writing about it!) The parent gossip is juicy. Because the kids forget I’m in there. And they’re all trying to outdo each other. Oh, have I got dirt.

9. When all of the little people in the cast see you in your stage make-up and costume (aided by the aforementioned scuba suit) and they ask how old you are … but then, before you can answer, one little angel guesses “Twenty?” … act amazed that she guessed correctly on the first try. And then when one particularly smart one says, “But wait, aren’t you Vivien’s mom?” look her dead in the face and say “Who’s Vivien?”

10. Remember that everything you’re doing is creating lasting memories with your girl. So be sure to make them good ones.


I’ve had an absolute blast doing the show with you, Viv. I can’t believe the last show is tonight.

I’m already looking forward to next year!

* * * * * * * * * *

Linked to MamaKat’s writing prompt asking us to write a blog post inspired by the word modest. (awkward pause) Fine. I cheated. But only the teeniest, tiniest bit. Which is practically like not cheating at all.

I think I’ll go teach that to my children.


6 responses to “Ten Tips on Doing a Live Play With Your Daughter

  1. You both look like you’rehaving an iincredible time and the backstage drama is always juicy and fun isn’t it?

    I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself, doing the dances and making these memories

    Thanks sir sharing them… Break a leg!

  2. I first saw Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat as a child on PBS. I will wager that I understood none of it. What I did understand was that this was probably the closest my young sheltered self was going to come to being on drugs though. Because that play was all like, whoa.

  3. Loved you two in this so much!!! If i could sing I would do it with O!!!

  4. What a wonderful experience to have together!

  5. Very cute costumes and sound slike a great time. You’re a good mom.

  6. You both look terrific! What great memories. I wish I could get one of my boys to do theater. I think there still might be a chance with my little ham Miles. Such a fun show too. Thanks for sharing the experience with us. And oh dang! The Words With Friends lady is so busted.

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