Thursday, March 13, 2008

I'm in love with a transvestite

Just yesterday, Tracy Lynn turned me on to this man. He is hysterical, and I can't seem to get enough. Never heard the eff bomb dropped go gently, like drops of filthy rain. Ah, Eddie, I might be late to your party (which, to all indications seems to have been going on for lo these 15 years or more), but because nobody's seemed to have yelled "last call" I'm in for a drink or two from your well of outrageous benevolence.

In a similar vein -

I have a great love for musicals. I adore show tunes. Mom and Dad used to play soundtracks from Broadway musicals while we ate dinner. Coming from NYC as they did, this didn't seem to be quite as odd as one might otherwise think it to be. Really. Only city folk could do that without other folks talking out the corners of their mouths about them, don't you think?
"Billy Bob? Them new folks up the holler am playin' all manner of show tunes at dinnertime. They've got KIDs and all. Ain't it shockin'?"
"Oh Lurlene, they're from the city."
"Then it's all right, I reckon?"

Show tunes didn't RULE our prandial moments - We also listened to classical music! I'm pretty sure that my Mom still has those thick vinyl records someplace in a box in her basement. Those things seemed perfectly indestructible, and yet they were handled with the utmost care. There was a blue label on them with some representation of an orchestra on them, and the composer's names were in silver lettering.

Tschaikovsky. Dvorak. Brahms. Mozart. Creators of lovely music, but not a whole lot of it could you hum to or belt out in the shower, unlike the show tunes. My mother was a dead singin' ringer for Ethel Merman, and used to regale us her impersonation thereof, head thrown back, mouth all twisted up in what I later recognized as a very Ethelesque sneer - we kids though it was hilarious. Mom was (and I presume still is) a very good singer, but when she did Ethel she seemed to become the actress she hardly ever was. It was fun to watch.

When I was 16 or so I saw "A Chorus Line" for the first time on stage. When I left the theater I wanted to BE an actress, a dancer, a singer. I wanted to be up there an stage, stomping the boards, high-kicking and wailing out songs that told of stress, strife, love, loss, success, failure. I wanted so very desperately to EMOTE that my feet hardly touched the red-carpeted floor.

Musicals do that to me. They turn me from the normally fairly taciturn person I am into someone who bubbles over with raw energy, who is willing to embarrass herself to get what she wants, who is willing to get out there and ENTERTAIN for the love of God, to make 'em laugh, to put a smile on people's faces, to touch their hearts, to make them gasp in astonishment at my glorious talents.

Except.... pretty quickly the reality creeps back in.

Point 1 in fact: I am not coordinated enough to be a dancer. Never was really, and even though at one point I could so the splits and put my feet behind my head, flexibility does not equal coordination, and I'm sure one pirouette would send me crashing to the floor.

Musical comedy, then?

Point 2 in fact: I am far too bound by my own body to put it all OUT there, to really give it the 110% it takes to bring an audience IN while living so large that the role being played fills the room. The stolid German peasant part of me holds back, which, as it so happens, is why I didn't make the 8th grade musical....I couldn't smile wide enough or appear happy enough. The director of that show had a bit of a chat with me, as I recall, and after he told me to smile, to be happy, I told him "but I'm NOT," to which he replied something like "if you can't fake it, you won't make it."

Man, it sucks to be 14 and to already be an anguished artiste.

Sooo, musical comedy - also out.

Point in fact #3: Straight acting isn't my "thing" (see the body-bound issue above, as well as the whole 'emoting' thing, which is rather a crippling issue to have if one wants to be an actor), though the three summers I spent as a puppeteer were fun. Maybe hiding behind a curtain and being goofy is apparently the venue for me. Also radio - that was fun too. No high kicking required for either job; a huge plus.

So, while it appears as though my desires and my reality are diametrically opposed, to this day if I hear a great show tune or see a musical, I get a sudden rush of "OMG." The people who put themselves out there, who struggle to achieve their moments of fame, are braver than I will ever be. My hat is off to them.

And Eddie? If you want my hat? Come and get it darlin'. It would probably look better on you anyhow. Rawr!


Hey - what's YOUR secret dream? Any shadow-divas out there? Any hidden heroes?

Spill them beans in the comments, won't you? And have a great day.

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