microphoneI’m blessed with two talented kids, each with their own unique passions and gifts. One is into music and plays an array of instruments. The other has expressed interest in acting and filmmaking. So what’s a SanityTravelingMom to do? Since there are no longer telephone booths in which to transform into superwoman, instead I must improvise and periodically become a Traveling StageMom!

I’m not shopping a reality show or looking to be the second coming of Gypsy Rose Lee’s mother. But having had similar interests when I was growing up, I like to encourage my kids to try things within reason, as long as they don’t interrupt school, jeopardize their health or interrupt their childhoods. Living within commuting distance of New York City and Boston has let us take advantage of a few opportunities.

The first time we traveled by early morning train to an open call for one of those popular talent shows (I’m talking 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday!) I was clueless about what to expect. Here are some tips based on what I’ve learned:

  • On the Road Breakfast. NOTHING is open that early in the morning! Trust me, the day ahead will be long and a light breakfast is important. A muffin and juice are filling and easy to eat on the train or in a car. 
  • Pack a bag. If you’re allowed a bag, fill one with healthy snacks that are easy to digest, work any time of day, and hold off hunger pangs, plus bottled water. We pack apples, oranges, granola bars, nuts and bagel chips.
  • Organize paperwork. I like to use those colorful plastic file folders that you can see through. Mine is yellow and holds the paperwork, directions, I.D.s , etc.
  • Bring a book. There are often strict rules about cell phones and taking photos. Bring a book or magazine, something to keep you occupied during the long waits.
  • Talk it up. We’ve met really amazing people with truly inspiring stories. Time flies when you’re connecting.
  • Give your child “space.” Help when needed, don’t nag and let your son or daughter take the lead on networking with fellow performers. Be supportive and protective but remember – this is their show. Allow them to use the opportunity to develop skills that will be helpful in any field.

My daughter says it best. It’s all about the experience and developing confidence. If you bring along that attitude – and some snacks – you’ll walk away winners no matter what.