Friday, September 24, 2010

Don't miss "Misterslippi"!

My very first audition was for Annie.

At five, I was too little to play the title role. That, however, didn't make a lick a difference to me. I had my eye on the plumb part of Annie's pint-sized playmate, Molly. I remember that nite so well. Wearing knee socks and a dress with Strawberry Shortcake on it (back then, my wardrobe had two "looks" - layered and Strawberry Shortcake), I walked into the Anderson Community Theatre building in the city's then-abandoned downtown. Well, it was abandoned except for the A.C.T., the Osteen Movie Theatre (where I first saw Annie), Anderson Appliance & Television (where I used to rent Annie ), and Yons' Meat Market, where you could buy bottle Cokes and Cadbury Eggs ... year-round, for some strange reason.

Anyway, I remember walking in to the theatre and sitting in the house, waiting nervously for my turn to be called. Oddly, I don't remember anyone else being there. I know that my mom had to be, though, because that was a stage of my life when I didn't let her out of my sight, except for those two hours each afternoon when I was completely preoccupied with watching Annie.

Once I was called, I walked the long, carpeted aisle to the stage. I remember as if it were yesterday, attempting to sing "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" with enough pep to propel a jet plane. It didn't work. We were visiting Mayme in Kentucky when the call came in. I can still see Mom standing there holding the rotary-style phone, her hair styled in the "Apple perm" she sported for most of my early childhood. She took the call in which I was told of my first theatrical failure. Thus began a less than impressive stage career that included a couple of works by Moliere, some Tennessee Williams, and a grad school audition in which I couldn't talk for the cottonmouth but for which my scene-partner mother, her Apple perm all grown out now, practically won both a Tony Award and a dinner invitation from James Lipton who was sitting in the audience with his legs crossed and a clipboard covering his lap.

Luckily, my sister's three oldest children fared much better in their first auditions. Last Friday, they opened in CJR Productions presentation of Patch the Pirate's Misterslippi River Race. Naturally, I was there Opening Nite - "candy in one hand, a camera in the other." The boys - as Skeeter and Arnie - both had solos; Lizzie Gray just sat on stage and looked way cuter than I ever did (see?)

For your viewing pleasure - and so that Daddy can get a sneak preview before he sees the show next weekend - I give you Camden's Skeeter singing "A Servant's Heart" and Payton as Arnie singing "I'm Adopted."

Riveted? Can't say that I blame you! Want to see it for yourself? Well, you're in luck. The show runs through October 2nd! For tickets, visit here. I'll be there again Friday nite, but not Saturday.

Saturday, I'll be at home ... watching Annie and hoping there's a director out there somewhere who might still let me play Molly. And my extra-bossy, older sister? She'd make the PERFECT Pepper.


  1. Thanks for the preview. The Kleenex company thanks you too!
    Love the Cheers look in the last photo too.

  2. They should have given you the role just because you were so darn cute!