Part 3: Stories from the Good Ship Lollipop…The End…

Continued from Part 2…

Part 3:

I went back to see That Old Wench one last time, and I hoped we would be besties.  False.  I just hoped she wasn’t going to make me cry, but being as though I already had my “cry face” on (aka; The cry-face is the face you get when you are trying not to cry, but everyone else can totally tell you’re going to bust), I had a bad feeling this was not going to end well, and it didn’t.  The last thing That Old Wench told me right before I left to go to the biggest audition of my life was…get ready for it, get ready…ready?

She said, “You’re not going to get this part.”  She just plainly looked at me like I was a piece of dust on her coffee table, and the words seemed to effortlessly spill from her mouth. That is literally all she said.  I sat there on that same dusty couch I had sat on for the last two days, and I was stunned.  Never one to be at a loss for words, I was completely dumbfounded, but I wasn’t sunk yet. I wasn’t about to cry (even though I had my cry face on), because That Old Wench was not going to get one tear out of me.  That Old Wench can go blow.

I arrived at the audition nervous, but more excited than anything else.  I put the words of That Old Wench in the back of my mind, and I was feeling good.  As I walked through the doors I was not ready for what I was about to see.  I saw at least ten little heads all ‘a chop complete with bangs and bobs and in the Mary Lennox hairdo.  Oh my God, I think I just hallucinated…Was this really happening?? Why, yes, yes it was.  It was my worst nightmare realized, and coming to me in the form of bangs and bobs.  Why me?  Why meeeeeee??? (<–FYI; To this day, I still can’t stand to see this haircut.  When Katie Holmes got the bangs and bob, I had to look away for at least six months.) I don’t know if it was That Old Wench’s words coming back with full force, or if it was that I was psyched out by all the little bangs and bobs invading my personal space, but I began to feel really discomBOBulated <–No pun intended.

I waited outside the audition room for my turn, and I suddenly loathed my dumb beret(<–FYI; To this day I can’t listen to Raspberry Beret by Prince.) Just when the bangs and bobs were about to undoubtedly drive me straight over the edge…

My name was called by a girl with a clipboard, “Sarah Barkoff?”

“Yes, here,” I said and got up and went into the audition room.

I was nervous walking into the room, that had at least eight people sitting at a long table staring at me wondering if I was their Mary Lennox, but escaping the bangs and bob room from hell, seemed to do wonders for my nerve.  I was asked to do my first song, and then go straight into the dialogue, which I did, and I felt like everything was falling into place. It wasn’t until the beginning of my second song, that the audition began to take a turn for the worse.

The woman in the first seat all the way to the left said, “Okay Sarah, now can you do the same line, but do it a little more perturbed?”  She said this as she talked to me like a baby.  Awkward.

Okay lady, WHAT THE EF does ‘perturbed’ mean??!! I’m 11, you crazy broad(<–inner thoughts and feelings…)  I started to panic, and think about That Old Wench’s last words to me.  And for some odd reason, I don’t know why, but all I could think of was the little blond girl from the picture in That Old Wench’s apartment, with her cool jean jacket on.  I thought to myself, “Laura Bell Bundy wouldn’t blow this audition…Laura would never show up in a dumb beret, she would have gotten the bangs and bob…Laura. Would. Get. The. Part.”  Except little did I know, Laura wouldn’t have gotten the part, because the part wasn’t for a blondie, it was for a brunette-ie.  Oh, little did my 11-year-old self know…

“Okay, sure,” I said as I proceeded to do the same line the exact same way, because I had no clue what the ef ‘perturbed’ meant.

“Okay Sarah, thank you very much.  We will let your agent know when we have made a decision,” said the woman in the first seat all the way to the left.

For those of you who don’t know, those exact words, nothing more, nothing less, is basically the kiss of death in showbiz.  I knew it was over the second I heard the dreadful, “Okay Sarah, thank you very much.”  Usually if there is a chance of sealing the deal, there will be more dialogue between the auditionee and auditioner, and inquiring about the logistics of accepting the role, but really at 11-years-old, I figured as much because they never asked to speak with my mom or dad afterward.  So, I knew.

And I was right.  I didn’t get the part.  The casting people told my agent that they actually really did like me, but that I looked too mature for the role, and they wanted a little girl who had a younger look, so all in all, I just wasn’t right for the part. (P.S. Thank God I didn’t cut my hair!  Thanks Ma!)  When all was said and done, I went home to Michigan, and did not go back to New York City for any auditions for the next 8 years.  However, my dream of playing  Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden did come true about a year later.  I played the part in a professional production of the show in Ann Arbor, MI, and the best part was, I still got to be a normal kid and stay put in Michigan with my family.  I still think leaving New York when I did was the best decision I ever made, and I am happy that I was able to have all the normal experiences a kid should have, and that I had a chance to just blend in with my peers for while.

The End…Just kidding!  Are you crazy?  I’m not about to not give you a follow-up on everyone involved in this story!

First things first…

That Old Wench:  Well, apparently That Old Wench is alive and kicking (I googled her), and likely still making other little girls cry.  I would tell you her name, and show you a picture of her, but then I would have to kill you.  Just kidding, but I don’t want to get sued for slander!  Hint:  I will tell you that she recently wrote a way famous screenplay, with a way famous lead actress in the lead role, based on a popular book and blog. 

Next we have…Laura Bell Bundy…

Remember this classy little broad?

Laura Bell Bundy is now a way famous country singer, so apparently I had an eye for talent. P.S. Love me some big hair, too, Laura.

And then there's me. I'm not famous or anything, but I'm happy. Hooray.

Photos courtesy of and





23 thoughts on “Part 3: Stories from the Good Ship Lollipop…The End…

    • Leah, Maybe you can get my dad to tell you, but I’m not sayin’ a word! P.S. Have you ever seen that episode of Friends where Phoebe pretends to be Joey’s agent, and ends up getting him all these jobs? When you said that, that is totally the vision I got. Look it up!

  1. Grrr! I need to know who the Old Wench is! I’m seriously trying to google stuff to figure it out! (By the way, found your blog through Reagan!)

    • Hey! Thanks for reading!! Ahhh, I really want to tell all you guys who are writing to me asking who That Old Wench is! Let me think if I can give you another hint…The movie is based in Europe…

  2. Awww, love this whole story! I was eagerly awaiting post #3! I figured I knew how it ended, but was still in major suspense! Stupid, evil lady! Grrrr! (And saw your comment above to Leah and I was totally picturing that Friends lady the entire time before I even saw that comment! Hee.)

    • Hooray! I am so happy/flattered you said that, Ashley! Right now I am trying to find inspiration for my next series, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading!!

  3. Hey Sar, you are an awesome writer…. I lub ur story..(lub means love in Noah). I also love ur Hawaii posts, we wnt there for our Maui honeymoon and last year for a vacay and maybe one day I will post on them to catch up… Even tho it will be old old old.. Xo

    • Aww, Lac! Thanks! Haha, I love it…Wait, I mean, I lub it! I lub the word lub, and I am totally going to steal it. Oh, and yes, please post your Hawaii pics, I wanna see them! Oh, how I miss Hawaii…

  4. I am hooked on this blog. Wow. Great writing. I’m pulled right in. And I’m from Metro Detroit too. And I saw Les Mis at the Fisher over Thgiving ….and the year was maybe 1987 (or maybe 1988). Sorry to be “stuck” on that part of your life but hey, I’m still getting to know you. But I am definitely hooked.

    • Hi Colleen! Thanks so much for reading. I’m so flattered to hear that you like my blog:) That’s so cool that you are also from Detroit! I did Les Miz in the early to mid 90’s, so you must have just missed me at the Fisher! I love going to see plays in Detroit, though, and am going to go see Wicked at the Michigan Opera House this Dec. Have you seen Wicked? If not, GO! It is my fav play EVER!

      • okay, this is weird. just yesterday we were just talking about going to see Wicked in Detroit in December. I was on the fence but now I think it’s a sign that we should go. We took the kids to see Mary Poppins there last Christmas and my 3 yr old fell asleep in my arms – a very expensive nap for him. I think we’ll try for a matinee this year!

      • Really?! That is so ironic! But yes, you should definitely, without a doubt, go see Wicked! Take it as a sign;)

  5. You are way to modest to add in the blog that you received the review of a lifetime after performing in The Secret Garden at the Lydia Mendelshon theater in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The critic wrote in his review….”Dennis (director) has a real find in Barkoff who sings and dances beautifully and creates a genuine metamorphosis from childhood brat to near miracle worker.”
    Oh, I also recall you receiving a nomination as Best Actress in a Musical, too. Not all overrated acting coaches know what they’re talking about sweetheart. Love, Dad and Mom

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