|This doesn't look unlike|
me at 10. But i was fatter.
|Me on the right. Impressive costume, no?|
|Sing yo face off in that dramatic lighting, gurl!|
High school came and I decided that I wanted to pursue acting as a career, much to Mama's chagrin. She wanted me to be an optometrist. Whoops. The closest that I came to Disney during my high school years was playing Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors the summer before my senior year. It's the show that Alan Menken and Howard Ashman wrote before they caught Disney's attention and it's one of my faves. Seymour was one of my bucket list roles. I also fell head over heels in love with the girl playing Audrey, which made me re-question my sexuality two years after I cracked the closet door. Awkward, huh? (Update: I'm still gay.)
|Yup. That's me on the left.|
We performed our show across the eastern half of the country from Florida to Flint, Michigan, with a stint in Amish country. I will never forget the chubby Amish boy in traditional garb and a bowl cut hiding under his teacher's arm because the witch terrified him so much. I guess that's what happens when you don't have a TV. But they are allowed the fanciest, pink, maribou-feather-topped, scented pens, apparently, because that's what the little girls handed us to sign autographs with after the show. The whole tour was fascinating, but three months packed like sardines in a maroon van is enough to drive anyone batty.
And that, my dear folks, is my last professional gig in NYC. It got me my Equity card and since then it has been a popcorn garland of rejection. That was over five years ago and since then I've done one small concert and traveled back home to play one of my other bucket list roles (Leo Frank in Parade) at one of my hometown theaters. At this point I've realized that I'm not cut out for the business part of show business. I love theatre for the sense of joy, discovery and community that comes when you put a group of creative people in a room together, give them words to bring to life, and let them discover. Increasingly the scene here feels like I'm back in middle school lunch room and not being allowed to sit at the cool kid's table when that feeling is exactly what I got into the theatre to avoid.
|In my last role as Leo Frank in Parade. I love this shot.|
All of this came up the other day because I remembered a monologue that I had written a few years back when I took a playwriting course. On the first day, after we walked in and sat down, the instructor asked us to write a monologue. I launched into one about a young man who had a love of Disney but was scared to take his boyfriend with him to the Magic Kingdom. I decided to share it with y'all. Please feel free to use it for your next big audition or Acting I class.
We all know deep down that it's rather deceptive, really. The whole concept of "The Happiest Place on Earth". The bright colors and parades. The smiles and laughter. The music flowing out of everywhere from the roofs and lampposts to the bushes piping in The Music Man on a loop. The complete lack of trash anywhere. I mean, how does that even happen? Is there a trash fairy brigade with latex gloves and work boots under their tutus flitting around collecting discarded Mickey wrappers and Mickey cups and Mickey bags? An endless volume of Mickey waste.
Yet, we adore it. I know at least I do. Every square inch of manufactured joy. It makes me feel completely happy. That same wonderful, safe sense of happy that I used to feel when I was a pudgy ten-year-old sitting too close to the TV immersed in a worn-out VHS tape of The Parent Trap or Beauty and the Beast. Or Freaky Friday. The first one without crack-headed Lindsay Lohan. Or The Little Mermaid. God! I wanted long, red hair and fishtail so bad! Or at least the doll, which mom and dad were loathe to buy me but did anyway. After my endless pleading.
So I can understand why you would think coming with me to Disney would be fantastic. It's completely logical. But I'm telling you- Disney park plus boyfriend plus me equals inevitable doom. And that makes me sad. I'll never have the Disney wedding of my dreams. Or Disney commitment ceremony of my dreams. Whichever. Because my relationships are vulnerable to a curse. Each one I've had that included a blissful, carefree Disney excursion has ended tragically. Tragically. We're talking about what it takes weeks of nothing but Dunkin' Donuts and Gilmore Girls marathons to recover from.
I can't do that with you. Firstly, I've been feeling chunky as of late and can't afford the binge. And secondly, because I think I might love you and I want you to stick around for a while. So, just give me a week in Florida and then I'll come home and we'll watch Aladdin together. I'll even bring you back one of those collectible pins. Just be here when I get back, OK? Let's try to give this one a happily ever after.
It is completely autobiographical. I had horrible luck with taking men to Disney. We would have an amazing time and then soon after our return, the whole thing would go to pot. Luckily, that streak of luck was broken with my husband, Tom. We share a love of Disney and have been to Disneyland twice and Walt Disney World once. We even got engaged in the Haunted Mansion. Strangely enough, we are also both actors who have learned to appreciate an actor's life outside of the pressures of making it our living. Either central Florida or southern California is about to get two more performer/writers who got fed up with this cold city of concrete and ambition and are ready to make some art!
|My next role? Here's hopin'!|