Hoo boy. Last week the kids abandoned the local rec center camp they had been attending (where they were swimming a few hours a day in the public pool — and loving it) for a songwriting camp at SoR. I was worried we were going to get some serious backlash. Both kids had asked for a break from the show season, to which I had said “Sure” — then the school asked if they would do the Bowie show this summer. Okay. Then Claudia, who had chosen not to audition for JV Houseband, was asked to join JV Houseband. Initially, she said she wouldn’t — she knew she would be on the young end of the group and she is not someone who aspires to teen life. But, okay. She joined.
And so, with a Summer Season show and the regional houseband weekend at Wildwood, NJ to prepare for (which, on Saturday night was a FIVE HOUR SET containing EIGHTY SONGS) — they went off to songwriting camp for the week. SoR is really the most structured environment in their educational lives but this has been an intense time with a LOT of hours put in there. Still, they had more fun than I expected. Béla was perfectly happy. Claudia exhibited some anti-authoritarian behavior early in the week, and I think everyone was trying very hard to not think about how much pressure Wildwood would put on Claude by the weekend, but they did great. (Béla is drumming in the back on many of the songs, but not in the video here, where Yanni just took over.) But this is clearly the most Claudia song written that week, and very obviously about a close friend whose birthday celebration she had to miss this weekend because of the Wildwood gig.
On Saturday, everyone headed to Adventure Pier in Wildwood.
This was grueling. Big highs and big lows. Probably related to dollar refills on lemonade and more cotton candy than any of us have ever eaten at once. And Claudia’s first and extremely sudden bout with stage fright (after five years at least, of performing?). However, she looked beautiful and did great. If Sarah Connor had stopped to sing “Just A Girl” before crushing the Terminator in a hydrolic press I imagine it would have gone something like this:
Béla is not in a JV Houseband but enjoyed winning stuffed animals. Or rather, “animals”.
I packed his Canon. He got some good shots, not just of his sister but of others.
We are all used to being worn out after shows but this was a new sensation. The idea that Claude had to do this again the next day — not in the evening but in the hottest part of the afternoon — was scary. Luckily, they decided to cut the set list down considerably. Also, Tucker and I decided that there was no way that we would be able to sleep, and he still had a paper to turn in — so instead of staying over, we got a midnight bus back to Philly so we could be here waiting for the kids when they got home Sunday.
Which they did, so happy to be home you’d think they’d been away for weeks. With this for Tuck.
I offered to let them sleep in late this am and go to swim camp a little late, but nope. Right back out.