Several years ago I noticed Genea has a nice singing voice. I didn't do much about it. Her school has a choir, and she participated for the last 2 years. She has done other things, dance, cheerleading, etc.
This past winter though, she and Teena did a version of American Idol with their dolls. Genea had written her own song. She created the lyrics and melody from scratch. And y'all? It was good. Every bit.
All this time, I've thought she might be interested in acting but I didn't do much about that either. Not too many choices until she got to high school. However, I discovered in this bizarre little town exists a performing arts studio. Dancing, acting, singing, performing, back of house, piano, violin, guitar. The kids that go there do local commercials. The instructors occasionally take time off to perform on stage. Perfect!
See, I've always thought a person should use their strengths. Even if your strengths are not always what another person might consider positive. An example is a family member with severe OCD. It can take him hours to leave the house. However he is the equivalent of a rocket scientist and that perseverance has led to a highly successful career. So with that in mind, this is what I thought Genea could use to her benefit-
Screaming= projecting your voice to the back of the house
Constant attention seeking= being watched on stage
Hypervigilance= knowing all the lines and marks
Lying= pretending something is true with all your heart
Histrionic fits/tantrums etc= emoting with conviction
(side note: we asked her to show us some of it at home and she did a whole bunch but none of it was hers. She had the lines of every single other performer memorized. Not one of her own. Hypervigilance. Gold level.)
Last spring she took a class in performing- acting and singing. And at the 3 hour and 45 minute show (where I nearly died of butt rot from sitting all that time) for all the students, she had a 4 minute skit. It was amazing. She got on stage and I couldn't hear a word. I would have tried to lip read but she was facing away from the audience. Slowly, and I swear this is true, I could actually watch her gain confidence. Her voice got louder. She turned a little and faced the side. She stood up straighter. Then she faced the audience! And then she started acting! By the time it was over she was just as good as the kids who had been there for years!
And so now she has this. This thing, that she's good at. No matter what else happens in her life, she has this.