Part 2: Stories from the Good Ship Lollipop

Continued from Part 1…

Part 2:

I could tell she was now up for a challenge, because the corners of her devious smile began to droop, her eyes narrowed, and I watched the expression on her face go from the look of crafty self-amusement, to full-blown committed hostility toward me. She suddenly really started to resemble Humpty Dumpty’s egg head to me, and it made me chuckle to myself.  When I got another glimpse of her staring at me, almost as if she could read my mind, I suddenly felt really scared of her.  I looked down at my pea green tights for words to break the ice to That Old Wench…Anything…Anything???  Well, my tights weren’t offering up any answers…

“Well, I mean, I have been told I have that special sparkle before,” I said matter of factly, and now no longer using the English accent that I had been instructed to use.  (Note: The term “sparkle” would go on to become a common theme all throughout my life to describe this sort of vague, unattainable attribute that was supposedly the key to all success in showbiz.  Almost like what the Emerald City is to Dorothy…<–but more on that much later.)  So back to the story…

Her eyes tapered even more now, and seemed to be singling me out as if to look at me, and only me, under a magnifying glass.  She no longer seemed as sour, but now like she was considering something thoughtfully. She took a few more seconds to focus and said, “There are two kinds of kids.  Kids with the sparkle, and kids without the sparkle.  Personally, I don’t see the sparkle in your eyes.  We’ll rehearse your lines, and at the end I will tell you if you’ve changed my mind.” Well, isn’t that special?  That Old Wench was going to be so kind as to let me prove myself?  Whatever in the world did I do to deserve such an honor?

I don’t know why, but I have always been the type of person to fall for that kind of challenge. Maybe it’s because I have also always been a believer in the possibility that if you just try hard enough, you can have the power to change someones mind, whatever that might be. But I will say, I have learned throughout my life with similar mind games like these that Number 1:  The person on the other end who sets up a test like that, is someone who is manipulative, likes to be in control, and enjoys the power position. <–e.g., someone like That Old Wench…Duh! Number 2:  You very very very rarely can change someone mind once they’ve made it up anyway.  So, all in all, I see now that this was a lost cause before it even began, but one that I could have never seen coming in my 11-year-old mentality.

One part of me thinks that That Old Wench was just trying to bring me out of my shell, but another part of me thinks that instead of getting into a verbal brawl with an 11-year-old, she opted to toy with my confidence instead.  What a dame.

We rehearsed lines for hours that day.  My time with That Old Wench was supposed to be over after one session, but she was knew that my big audition was the next day, and she wasn’t done screwing up my universe just yet. When my parents came back to pick me up, she made a proposal to bring me back one more time the next day, right before my audition to brush up on my English dialect so that it would be fresh for the audition.  My parents agreed, and That Old Wench got her way.

The morning of my big audition was a very tense one.  I was very nervous, and the words of That Old Wench were dancing around in my head ruining my confidence.  I dreaded going to see her again, but I was still hopeful I could change her mind about me. <–Aw, what I lil’ sweetheart.

For my big audition I wore a white turtle neck shirt, a flower print jumper (as my mom would call it), white tights, and black maryjane shoes.  I wore my hair half up and half down with my lucky beret…Naturally.  I don’t know who started this, but I am guessing it was established  with Daisy Eagen who originated the role of Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden on Broadway, but it was custom for whoever played the part, to cut their hair in a chin length bob with bangs.  So sassy.

Daisy Eagan the originator of the Mary Lennox bob?

Or maybe the hair was inspired by the book cover of the children’s novel?

Maybe she inspired it?

Either way, I soooo wanted that bob with bangs.  I felt like I would be the key to my success if only I had the Mary Lennox bob…but I am sure my mom thought it wasn’t necessary to cut my hair off until I was cast in the role. Fail.

I went 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…

To be continued…

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