I’m playing Mary Poppins for two weeks. It’s all a bit surreal, since my mother died on Monday and our first rehearsal was Monday, but that’s the life of a musician: we don’t get to take a rehearsal off and still play the job. If we don’t play the job we don’t get paid. I love my work, and I wouldn’t trade it, but this is one of the things that can cause difficulties.

That being said, this post isn’t about that, really. (I guess I just felt like whining …?!) It’s more about that whole “Spoonful of Sugar” thing Mary talks about. Seems to me they need to change the words.

… and who knew that “aspoonful” was one word, eh?


  1. Each of my parents died while I was on the road with Phantom of the Opera. I found out about my mother between double services on a Thursday in Boston. The evening show was tough to play, but my mother had been a musician and I could hear her saying, “Cam, you have a job to do, now DO it!”

    My father died the night before my last show of Phantom as a full-time member, while we were in Des Moines. I briefly thought about letting my colleagues know, but decided not to because it was my final performance and it just didn’t feel right to share this kind of news at that time.

    Thankfully, my two older brothers were (and are) living in the Sacramento area and were able to be there for my parents’ passing. Thank goodness for siblings! This eased my pain and frustration at being so far away.

    I’m sure that your mother was very proud of you, Patty, and would want you to “carry on”. I am also proud of you for doing so. The life of a musician is a tough one, different from some other occupations — the show usually must go on. My heart goes out to you and your family. May your mother rest in peace!

  2. patti with an i

    You know, Patty, I don’t think most people would classify the difficulty of going to work in the haze of just having lost a parent as “whining.” You are hereby instructed to cut yourself a tiny bit of slack!!!

  3. Wow, Cameron, dealing with those deaths while on the road … that must have been so difficult. I was here for my father’s death, and was playing Nutcracker at the time. Truth be told, it was nice to have something rather mindless to do and helped me deal. Doing Mary Poppins feels that way a bit, too (although I must confess the book was a bit challenging and since I’d not played it before it wasn’t the breeze Nutcracker is). It was so wonderful having my brothers here this time to go through this with my sister and I. Family is such a blessing.

    And yeah, Patti, I should cut myself some slack … but then I wouldn’t be me, would I? 😉