5.24.2013

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow My Ass

I recently met with a cable network executive who seemed oddly fascinated by my having been a child actress, a brief mention under the heading "personal" at the bottom of my resume. Although I put it there for conversational purposes, it was only meant to be an opener. He kept going back to it, though, so I joked about him wanting me to to get up and break out into the theme song from "Annie."

"Were you in that, though?" he asked, hopefully.

"Sorry, no," I said, not exactly sure why I was apologizing. I told him I did once meet with the producing partner of Sarah Jessica Parker, though long after the actress's child star days. If he seemed disappointed, that made two of us since she had passed on my script and stopped returning my calls. The sun will come out tomorrow my ass.

I started doing children's theater at the age of eleven alongside a number of marginally talented kids who are now running Hollywood. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, the entertainment industry's original bedroom community, we did singing lessons and summer stock like other kids do baseball practice and space camp.








At the risk of dating myself in a job interview of all places, I went to school with a few Brady's and a Walton or two, and did improv with a minor Arquette and a guy who grew up to play Ice Man, Batman and Jim Morrison before he got fat. My carpool buddy now runs the Emmys; she married the kid who played Kojak's nephew and was later credited with inventing reality television. I did Little Red Riding Hood with the mother of Must See TV and Beauty and the Beast with the mother of Lizzie McGuire. I tapped and jazzed into ninth grade with a future lady of Cougartown -- and got my first kiss on stage from a future Hollywood power agent.

 Fat lot of good any of that did me.

"Was it Marcia Brady, or Jan?" my interviewer asked. It was Peter, actually, but since Namie McDropperton was in his late thirties with an obvious fixation on the sweethearts of classic TV, my only hope was to toss him a plum. "I know Winnie Cooper!" said I. We met back in film school, and now she's a newly divorced single mom who might be dating again. Unfortunately, the idea of meeting the grown up her, in the flesh, didn't seem to do it for him. "Which Walton?" he asked. "I'm thinking either Erin or Elizabeth."

I didn't get the job, but I have re-connected with some of the old gang on Facebook, where we offer up the random shout out about how none of us has changed a bit. In a way I can't really explain, except to say that surviving Hollywood means keeping childhood very close at hand, in many ways this is the truth.


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