I never wanted to be an actress. Well, let me be perfectly honest… there was a fleeting moment in 7th grade when I dared to think maybe I had a little something something. I tried out for a beautiful maiden and ended up being a sailor. At first being cast as a man, a sailor to boot, affirmed that I had about zero talent in that department. It was slightly disappointing and made me wince to think I was that terrible. But I convinced myself that it wouldn’t be sooo bad to be a boy. It probably meant I had a tiny bit of talent if they thought that I could play a boy. Me (or the 7th grade version of me at least)… a 5 foot pigmy with an overdeveloped chest and hair past her shoulders that defied gravity on a regular basis. I decided if they believed my talent could overshadow ALL of that, well I must have something in me. Yes, I saw it now… a hidden thespian, so deeply buried that it needed training and guidance to emerge. Visions of me on the stage played through my mind. Oh, I’d be great!
I threw myself into my character. I’d be the sailorist sailor that ever was!! The H.M.S. Pinafore was a musical and it was true, I had no singing voice. I knew I’d have to rely heavily on my dancing ability. Of course, I hadn’t had any traditional training or anything but I had groove and soul. And apparently outstanding acting skills, if I was to be a boy in this musical. I felt confident and good.
I remember the distinct moment that it struck me. The moment of clarity when I realized that I was no actor and that the casting crew of this unfortunate affair already knew it. We were in the middle of dress rehearsal. The night before our first BIG performance, 3 in total. There I stood in my bell bottom jeans (after they were cool but slightly before they were again), in the very back row. My hair was pinned down in every direction it could be and crammed under a sailor’s cap. Only fate could decide if it would stay correctly placed at this point. I was diligently kicking and moving in my massive bell bottoms but my mad skills were being tainted by their swing. I let out a forlorn sigh and looked to the ‘director’ in the front row to voice my frustrations but I couldn’t see her from my place in the back row.
that’s dumb. they put me in the back. i’m so short, no one can even see me back here. wait… why am I in the back row if no one can see me?
I spent the next few minutes pondering that question while the kids with actual lines performed. My next chorus song wasn’t for a while so I had some time to figure it out. That’s when I had my epiphany. I was a sailor because they didn’t have enough boys! I was in the back row because I did not, in fact, have any talent! I wouldn’t doubt it if my mouth made a perfect circle as I uttered a profound ooohhhh. i see.
Well, I finished up that show and the ones to follow with as much pride as you can when you realize how much you suck. I’m no quitter! No. There are a lot of things people can say about me but not that. I’m a team player and quite used to being the worst one on the team. I’d complete my obligation. And then I would never, ever, ever, ever act again.
There’s a Florence & the Machine song called Swimming. It’s a fantastic little diddy. Upbeat and lifting. I love to listen to it, humming and singing off-key (cuz that’s how I sing).
I recommend you listen to it because it’s beyond fantastic but if you’re too lazy, I’ll tell you the gist. A portion (the portion that pertains the most) says:
your songs remind me of swimming,
which I forgot when i started to sink,
drank further away from the shore,
and deeper into the drink…
Which is the important thing today because it happened to me. I forgot that I was no actress. I forgot that I’m terrible and no one should be subjected to such horror ever again. I forgot because I got swept up in my new job (and yes, someday soon I’ll actually blog about that).
A ‘commercial’ was to be made for the contest that I helped create. I was asked to help make it. of course I will! i’m a team player, haven’t you heard? So when I was asked to be in the video, I accepted again. And in my zeal, in my delight over what I had birthed, I forgot what I had already learned….
I’m a 5’3″ almost pigmy with a
lower overdeveloped chest and hair past my shoulders that defies gravity regularly who can not act!!! But somehow I forgot. You won’t though. Because it’s alive. It’s out there in the beast whose name is the world-wide web.
I considered hiding away and not sharing. But, really what’s the point? This is my life and if I don’t put it out there, I drown in it. Here’s the Facebook link to my ‘commercial’.
i tried to remember the chorus,
i can’t remember the verse,
cos’ that song that sent me swimming,
is now the life jacket that burst…