Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh My! Oh Shoot, I’m Busted!

183 days to go

Hannah performed in a production of “The Wizard of Oz” this weekend. After driving her to and from rehearsal for weeks at all hours of the day, it all finally came to fruition.

Hannah was playing…a tree…yes, a tree AND, as she eagerly points out, Auntie Em. (Turns out that the trees in this production had a fair amount of acting to do).

Hannah After the Show
Hannah After the Show

The show was enjoyable and the kids (it was a youth production) did an outstanding job. AND, I was busted for taking a photo of my daughter.

Any parent knows the promise: “There will be professional photos for sale”…”There will be a professional video of the performance”. In the 10 years or so that Hannah has been involved in theater I have yet to see one of those mysterious “photos”. It may well be that my daughter is in possession of these “photos” and “videos”. If so, she is not overly forthcoming when it comes to sharing them.

The announcement came at the beginning of the show “Please turn off your cell phones, it interferes with our PA system” ok, makes perfect sense. And then “Or, if you are a doctor, put it on airplane mode. Thank you folks!”. Also makes perfect sense. If airplane mode disarms the phone enough so that it does not interfere with a jet liner and its life sustaining instruments,  then that’s gotta be good enough for the PA system. I put it on airplane mode…hey, I studies medicine for 2 years…I’m practically a doctor.

I had no intention of taking out my phone and taking a picture. I did not want to be THAT guy. You know, the asshole who doesn’t listen to the announcements. The guy who does whatever he wants. I also understand that there are other issues to be considered. Copyright infringements, permission to photograph people, etc, etc.

Halfway through the show I started having that nagging feeling that this was one of my daughter’s last performances as a high school student. I wasn’t just watching any actor or actress perform. This is my flesh and blood up there and I’m damn proud of what she is doing.

Considering that this wasn’t a performance of The Royal Shakespeare Company, starring Ian McKellen (who I adore, by the way), rather a kid performance mostly attended by the children’s friends and relatives, my thoughts turned to the “professional photos” that would never materialize. I pulled out my phone and, when Hannah was sort of isolated on the stage, zoomed in and took the shot.

The fact that the iphone takes epically crappy pictures when the lighting conditions are anything less than perfect was well known to me…I didn’t care. I wanted some visceral memorabilia to hang on to. Even if it was just a crappy picture of a blurry, hopelessly out-of-focus blob on stage. I would know what the picture was…it would help me remember her performance.

The second I was done and slipped the phone back in my chest pocket, a member of the staff (sitting behind us in the lighting booth) was upon us. I made head and hand gestures “Sorry, sorry, won’t happen again”. My wife looked over at me, shaking her head. A feeling of embarrassment came over me like a flood.


Yes, alright, alright! I know, I know.
Today I was THAT guy.  No two ways about it.

I DO have the photo though.
Its black and red, a swirl of color.
Unrecognizable to anyone….but me.

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