Finding your passion

photoFive years ago, when my daughter Isabella was not quite ten, she decided she wanted to give musical theater a try.

Appropriate, I remember thinking, for the worlds largest drama queen.

But after preaching to my kids that I don’t care what their passion is as long as they find it, I couldn’t say no. When Isabella came to me with hers, I had to put up or shut up, as they say. So I did a little research, found a local group about to hold tryouts, and signed her up. Two weeks and a couple hundred dollars later, it was a done deal. Isabella had snagged a part in MZ Stageworks‘ rendition of Aladdin.

That first musical, she was cast in the chorus. In the next chorus, too, as well as the next one and the next one. Still, even without lines or solos, she was determined to keep trying. Even though she watched new kids come in and get better parts. Even though she looked like she felt, especially in the beginning, incredibly uncomfortable and nervous up there on the stage. She simply refused to quit.

Much of her determination, I have to say, is because of the fabulous MZ staff. Miss Merrideth and her colleagues are so incredibly loving and encouraging, they turn what is so often a competitive and catty profession into a positive experience for these kids.

But my daughter is also a Swaak, which means when she sinks her teeth into something, you might want to back up. If you get in her way, things for you could get dicey.

This past December, though, Isabella surprised me. It wasn’t that she got a big part, or that she walked onto that stage and owned it. For me, the surprise came as soon as she opened her mouth and belted out her first line. The girl can sing. The girl can sing. Who knew? Apparently, not her mother.

But this mother has never been more proud.


About Kimberly S. Belle

Kimberly Belle grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, Kimberly lived for over a decade in the Netherlands and has worked in marketing and fundraising for various nonprofits. She's the author of two novels, THE LAST BREATH and THE ONES WE TRUST (August 2015). She divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam. Keep up with Kimberly on Facebook (, Twitter (@KimberlySBelle), or via her website at

Posted on January 18, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Oh, Kimberle, I can relate to your story. My daughter (14) loves drama and has been in numerous Shakespeare plays with tiny parts and then a non-Shakespeare play a few months back with another small part. And she’s not that “dramatic” shall we say, but she refuses to give up. And I am SO proud of her. I know one day she’s going to get “that part” that will make her shine.

  2. I’m certain she will, and that you will be on the edge of your seat every second of her performance, Patti. And they learn so much more than singing and dancing and performing in these groups, so even without a big role, she gets so much out of the experience!

  3. Isn’t it great when our kids surprise us? I applaud any tween/teen who is able to find their passion and stick to it through all the ups and downs. It prepares them for real life. I do wish, however, that my daughter had chosen a cheaper passion than horses. 😉

    • I hear you, Tracy. And especially a sick horse is expensive! I hope yours has been nursed back to health by now. 😉

  4. Be thankful she has a passion, Kimberle. I worry most about kids who don’t have something they love. Having to work hard at this is making her stronger and teaching her life lessons. So glad you both get to experience this!

    • Thanks, Christy, and you’re right. I’m so thankful she found something she loves doing. It’s an excellent lesson all around.

  5. What a great story, Kimberle. It’s pretty awesome when our kids surprise us like that. And if they have a talent that we don’t have, it’s even more surprising. LOL. Here’s to many starring roles in your daughter’s future!

    • Thanks, Sheila. And yes, when it comes to singing, she has way more talent than I do. Waaaaaaay more!

  6. What a great feeling–for her to find her passion and for a mother’s surprise over discovering how AMAZING her child is…

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