Well, I have stumbled upon something truly disturbing. Something I did not think it was possible to find because it’s something I didn’t even know existed.
Last week, I was clicking around on the website of a local ensemble theater with whom I used to work. They’re a big deal around here, lots of kudos and accolades.
Hm. But not really while I was there.
Oh, now, pshaw! I’m sure that’s a mere coincidence.
Anyhoo. They have an in-house playwright who has, over the years, written an annual show for the Christmas season. So this is a picture of me, from, oh, several moons ago, in one of these shows. A picture I never knew existed, much less would ever have thought would be on their website.
I’m on the right with the codfish mouth and the precious hands. My character’s name is Rosemary and I am a little dreamer nerd full of little dreamer nerd ideas who develops a hopeless crush on a mysterious sailor who comes to stay at my uncle’s seaside inn. That’s my Uncle Nicholas being kissed by my snippy sister Charlotte, who is much less interesting than I am, to be completely forthcoming with you.
But can we please discuss the wig? THE WIG!! I’d forgotten that INSANE creation! I wish the shot wasn’t profile because the width of this thing needs to be seen straight on to be truly believed. I mean, I felt like it needed some kind of steel armature to hold it up. Girders. Rebars. Whatever. I needed construction guys with orange cones to stand near me with stop signs just so other people could maneuver around me. There needed to be beeping sounds of warning accompanying the movements of that mountainous thing. It gave me raging headaches and possibly permanent brain damage. It was massive in a neurologically compromising kind of way. Every night of the show, once that thing was cemented to my head, cast members would see me and guffaw helplessly. The wig itself was pure comedy. See that huge riot of curls and ribbon on the side there? Well, there is another matching riot of curls and ribbon on the other side of head, just as huge. Instead of one or two or three little ringlets, there were, oh, six, seven, ten? And as the show went on, I started to believe there was a conspiracy to add more and more ringlets to Rosemary’s wig. And when a girl’s hairdo becomes wider than her hips, there is a big problem.
Oh, and see Uncle Nick’s spectacles? Well, I am wearing a pair of spectacles just like them. A pair of spectacles with a loose lens, that, yes, would fall out onto my cheek from time to time onstage forcing me to improvise ….. something … hold it up to my eye, hold it away from my eye, shove it onto my eye and squinch my eyelids around it, whatever. Once when that happened onstage, the other actress in the scene just started shaking with laughter at the sight of that stupid lens teetering atop my cheekbone. She was visibly quaking. Oh, and this was a small theater in the round so the audience wasrightthere. The poor girl had this big speech and was supposed to look at me, talk to ME all the while, and she simply COULD NOT. Her face was beet red from the effort of simultaneously stifling guffaws and saying her lines. I mean, look, I was just standing there, pippa, minding my own Rosemary beeswax, fiddling about with my loose spectacle lens, trying to make it a character bit. Please calm down everyone! I was probably upstaging her, but, well, FIX MY LENS, I implore you!! I begged the costumers to fix it, but I think the director just preferred to leave the situation as it was and see what I would do with it.
Basically, I looked and acted completely nutso in a dreamy romantic bookwormy nerd kind of way. My own DAD, when he came to the show, turned to my mom and said, “I thought Tracey was in this show. Where is she?” Hahahahaha. I was utterly unrecognizable. I sported a British accent. I was trapped under a giant wig mountain. I was at the mercy of capricious wobbly glasses. It was NUTS.
Some acquaintances who came to the show and then waited for me afterwards, shuffled their feet and said, “So, uh … which one were you? I didn’t see you!”
“Uhm ….. yeah, the crazy nerd girl? With the huge screaming curls? And the glasses? Okay. ‘Member the girl who fell down running onstage tonight? Yeah, that was me. It was an accident. I slipped. I’m a dork.”
“Oh, yeah! That was funny when she fell during the song! That was you??”
“Wow. We didn’t recognize you AT ALL. And we just thought that fall was in the script!”
“Uh, nope. I am actually supposed to stay standing while singing ‘Carol of the Bells,’ but it didn’t work out that way tonight.”
“Hahahahaha! We loved that part!”
“That wig you wear is crazy.”
They looked at my smushed, de-wigged hair.
“So …. this is your hair now underneath the wig?”
“Uh, yeah, sorry.”
“No, no. Uhmm ….. the color is pretty.”
“Yeah …. well, thanks.”
Good ol’ nerdy dreamy crazy-wigged Rosemary who left me with smushed hair for a good six months after the show closed and intermittent headaches and crossed-eyes and permanent brain damage.
I loved her.