A generic adult female gets stars in her eyes
I saw the notice in the local paper: “Auditions for the Podunk Players production of “The Wizard of Oz” will be held Tuesday night in the back party room of Willard Workman’s Wedges of Walleye Westaurant. All ages welcome. Come prepared to sing a song (any song but “Tomorrow” from “Annie”, as the director, Madge Havercrappe, has heard it way too many times and will immediately dismiss anyone singing it and refuse them all further participation in her productions), learn a dance, and read lines.”
The long-repressed drama queen in me broke the bands restricting her to memories of my rendition of Molly Ralston in Agatha Christie’s “Mousetrap” in high school, where Seth Handy, who played the fake Sergeant/real murderer, nearly strangled me in rehearsal one day, and then the next day, fondled me in the green room while we were practicing the same scene. Drama queen asserted herself as my consciousness, pushing the “mommy” me to the back recesses of gray matter, and told the GenericAdultManlyMan (husband) that she/I/we (somebody get me to a psychiatrist, quick!) was/were (and then take me to a grammarian!) going to the audition. GAMM recognized the occasion as one for him not to interfere or say anything. He paused only to nod, and then he went back to watching preseason football.
The whole population of Podunk’s children, plus several dozen from surrounding communities, showed up to audition for the choice role of “one of the Munchkins” and I was embarrassed for the scores of theater moms (similar to soccer moms, only with a desperate need to get their mostly untalented progeny onstage). I felt ridiculous, but I was firm in my resolve to audition. I had my song picked out (“Downtown”—I picked it because I liked the name Petula) and waited for my number to be called.
But silly me, I neglected to take into consideration my size with regards to learning a dance. You may have read in one of my previous ramblings that I do like to dance. But only in the privacy of my home, and it’s more of a free-style lurch-and-wiggle than actual articulated and graceful series of movements. And more embarrassingly, we actually had to dance in front of everyone else who had shown up to try out. To make matters even worse, I was wearing high-heeled shoes with nylons. Even kicking off my favorite pair of black mules with the jaunty silver buckles left me slippery of footing on the highly polished wood-laminate floor. I was prepared in one area—the prevention of my voluminous bosom flapping around like two mounds of pizza dough being tossed around by a juggler. I was wearing a heavy-duty sports bra.
The ordeal was a tricky one indeed, involving jumping, clapping, hip-thrusting, and something called “The Dorothy Step,” which I utterly failed to master. Not only that, but parts of me were still “dancing” minutes after the music stopped, heavy-duty sports bra notwithstanding--my abdominal bulge was rippling like a pebble-disturbed pond. The choreographer asked us, one by one, which role we were auditioning for, and after several people answered that they were going for the girl in the blue-check dress and ruby slippers, I said, “Glinda.” She said, “Oh, good, I was afraid you were going to say 'Dorothy.'”
The drama queen knows her limits. I’d rather travel by pink bubble and wear a pink plastic garbage can on my head than dance around fantasy land with needy companions and a yippy dog any day.