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Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Flair For The Dramatic by Raymond M. Wong

My daughter, Kristie, is thirteen and has participated in drama the last two years in middle school. She recently tried out for “Honors Drama” for the upcoming school year but didn’t get selected.  

Kristie was disappointed, especially when one of her friends did get chosen for Honors Drama. The glum expression on my daughter’s face told me how she felt when she checked the message board on the computer and her name wasn’t on it. 

Kristie tends to be quiet in school. She gets good grades because she studies hard, but comments from teachers are usually along the lines of, “Joy to have in class. Excellent effort, quiet, and dependable.”

I don’t have a problem with Kristie being quiet. I’m an introvert myself, so I understand my daughter’s personality. I don’t need her to be an outspoken candidate for student body president or a rah-rah cheerleader for the football team. I’m fine with Kristie just being herself but I’ve come to realize this can hamper her ambitions to become the next Jennifer Lawrence. 

My wife, Quyen, and I have been to a number of Kristie’s drama performances, and I’m slightly biased, but I think our daughter is pretty good. She remembers her lines, and she nails the dance steps in her routines. The thing is, she has a quiet voice and she isn’t animated to the extreme. This works against her in a field where flair and exuberance are the calling cards for success. 

It’s funny because Kristie can be expressive. I’ve seen it firsthand, and it usually involves her interactions with me. At home, I often chide her for spending so much time on video games. When I suggest she spend some “quality time” with me instead, she immediately goes into Mixed Martial Arts mode and goes ballistic on her poor dad.  

She unleashes a series of play-jabs, snap-kicks, and rapid-fire punches until I scamper away to keep from getting pummeled. Kristie gives chase and when she catches me, she goes into her best World Wrestling Federation maneuvers: elbow to the head, knee to the spine, and uppercut to the chin. She will declare, “Take that, Daddy, and how about this!” as she lands yet another roundhouse kick. 

So I know my daughter can be dramatic. She just needs to take her father to her auditions and start pounding away.

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