A year before I started my glamorous triple-threat career with a role as Mama Bear, I played a black cat in another bizarre medley show at my elementary school. The show –
written mashed together by my music teacher – was so bad that even as a fourth grader, I knew it made no sense/had no point/SUCKED.
I was supposed to be some rip-off of the Cheshire Cat, only I was a black cat, and I had two other black cats in my posse (non-speaking roles, the losers). Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am more than mildly OBSESSED with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, so I felt like an asshole playing a black non-Cheshire Cheshire Cat, but also, I wanted to be a star, so I took the part.
I’M SORRY – I NEED TO INTERRUPT MYSELF FOR A SECOND.
I need to let you all know that when you Google image search “Cheshire Cat,” this
shows up well before this
I feel like I need to just QUIT LIFE now. Fucksake.
(Jesus. Seriously. Ugh.)
So I was playing a rip-off cat. And the lead of the entire show was some Disney Princess® mash-up disaster (played by the music teacher’s daughter, naturally). And in the scene we shared, I was supposed to sort of taunt her. (But I didn’t know that at the time.)
This was my line (yes, I remember it exactly): “Just look at her! The girl’s flawless!”
JUST ONE ISSUE.
I was nine and I had no idea what “flawless” meant. So I thought I was just like, stating a fact, and I had no clue what the fact was.
So I said my line like someone who had no idea what it meant.
My music teacher called me out on it one day in rehearsal.
“Andrea, Andrea,” She had both arms up in the air and her glasses tight on the very tip of her nose, “Let’s talk about the delivery of that line.”
I stared at her.
(I was nine.)
“You need to be more – well, your delivery, it’s – here’s the thing: you’re being sarcastic. She’s not actually flawless. You’re being sarcastic about it. So I need to hear that.”
JUST ANOTHER ISSUE.
I had no idea what “sarcastic” meant either.
I nodded at my music teacher, the nerves of what was sure to be my Tony Award winning performance getting to me.
I needed to own this line.
SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t.
My music teacher continued to yell “SARCASTIC” at me in rehearsals, and my answer was simply to say the line LOUDER and ENUNCIATE.
At least I looked cute dressed as a black cat.
That was when I learned that acting is hard.
Also, to ask if you don’t know what a word means.*
*Especially if you don’t know how to pronounce it. This one stupid girl in the show had obviously never seen the word “deny” written down before, and she would always pronounce it “DEN-ee,” even after my music teacher corrected her. And she was in grade six! I’ve been judging that girl since the fourth grade!