Hi my friends!
Today I was really happy because (finally) we got a little stormy weather in LA*! To be completely honest, it consisted of a slight breeze and a greyish tinge to the sky which faded after about 12:00 this afternoon but whatever. It still counts. I’m going to keep wearing this sweater dress and drinking this weird health tea made out of turmeric roots that my parents bought and which I’m only drinking because it was the only kind we had in our pantry.
Anyway, sometimes cloudy days make me feel a little nostalgic. Today as I gagged on my tea and gazed wistfully out my window at the dry palm trees (did I mention we’re in a drought in California?) drooping in the faint breeze, I started thinking about all the theater geeks I’ve met over the years. Not to sound super old or anything, but I’ve met a lot of them. If you’re the amount theater-freako that I am, you will find your own kind naturally. Theater geeks tend to flock together (this is done mainly for self-protection) and I have met many varieties of this strange breed. I’ve also learned some huge life lessons from them that I thought you, my dear friends, should know.
So here’s me, Lil the Fabulous, telling you about the different kinds of theater geeks I’ve met and what they’ve taught me.
The Unanticipated Actor
This person can be a little irritating but they will always turn out to be a super, super good actor. I knew a theater geek like this at one time. He got on my nerves once in a while because he used to walk up behind me and try to surprise me and he also sometimes forgot about Personal Space. Sometimes I had to kind of yell rude things at him but he turned out to be a really good actor. My best friend saw him in a play recently and reported back to me, so I know. She has very good taste in acting styles. I learned something very useful from this particular theater geek. Well, first of all, of course, don’t judge someone before you see them perform in a play, but secondly, eat chocolate chips for breakfast. Now, I’m not one to give health tips (I leave that stuff to my health-freak parents who currently use a toothpaste made out of something called “mineral earth”) but this theater geek literally ate chocolate chips for breakfast each morning and he first of all, had a very perky attitude, but second of all weighed so little that you could pretty much just haul him around with you wherever you went.
Tips For Stayin’ Fit! By Lillian Mottern. What do you think?
I know, I could make millions.
Let me get to the point. The Faker’s parents paid for them to do theatre camp during winter break so they wouldn’t have to see them.
I’m sorry. That was kind of harsh.
I have known a lot of Fakers in my life and I have also acted in a lot of musicals with them. Now, to fair, these particular kinds of people probably have a decent amount of interest in theatre. They know, say, a couple lines from “It’s The Hard Knock Life” and they might have even taken tap in third grade. But they don’t have that acute belief that deep passion that a true theater geek has to have embedded in their DNA. I personally don’t think people should be forced to be interested in something they’re not interested in so I don’t blame the Fakers themselves, but I definitely do kind of blame their parents. I mean, there are a lot of football camps out there you could have sent them to, ya know.
And sure, some kids just aren’t tall enough to reach the football nets. Still, you get my point.
Now here is my Faker story. A couple years ago I played Grace Farrell in Annie and I learned a life lesson. From a Faker. Which was that sometimes after you have been sitting in rehearsal for a long time, Daddy Warbucks who you believe to be a Faker will pour a bottle of water on your head because he is bored. And only moments after the two of you sang “NYC” together. And then you realize that High School Musical was lying and you will not develop a bond with the person you sing a duet with. They will pour a water bottle on your head.
The Beauty Guru
If you do musicals you will eventually find yourself in that slightly horrifying place known as The Dressing Room. In the dressing room, the costume designer will hurl your Cheetos into the trash can and insult you loudly in front of your best friends.
In the dressing room, people will spread rumors about which girl’s boyfriends are actually gay (they all are).
In the dressing room you will write rude poetry and everyone will like it.
It is a sacred place and it is where you will find the Beauty Gurus. These people will loudly tell you to put an avocado mask on your hair because it’s too frizzy which will cause you to burst into tears. They will also give you life advice like, “keep your chin up!” and acne’s no biggie!” I had a friend who was this specific kind of theater geek and she always seemed really self-confidant to me. You could have discussions with her about which Disney princess you were and you never felt embarrassed. She also taught me one of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned from a theater geek, which was “don’t use paper towels and cold water from the bathroom sink to wipe off your stage make-up, kid.” It really was useful advice and still is. I was thinking about what she told me last night because I ran out of make-up remover and it was too late to go out and buy more and I was like, “Lil, remember what that Beauty Guru friend of yours told you?” and I was like, “Yes! Thank you so much for reminding me!” Basically she had told me that night after the show to use olive oil if I didn’t have make-remover! I KNOW! See, lessons from theater geeks follow you wherever you go.
I said theater geeks have a pretty strong bond, right? Well they have a pretty strong competitive streak too. You might live in a town that has rival theater groups and then you will know this to be true. For a long time I lived in a town with two theater groups: The hip, modern group, and the old standards group. I liked both of them but only ever did musicals with the old standards group. Well, there was a theater geek who I ish knew and he used to do shows with both of the theater groups. I know! He was sort of revered, partially because he was a good actor (see The Unanticipated Actor) (not the same person but the same type of theater geek) but mostly because he was daring enough to kinda-sorta betray his theatrical home! I know the director at my old standards theater group was quietly disapproving of him but ya know what? It thought about it and the life-lesson I learned from The Traitor was this: you do you! If you want to do some other kind of theater do it! It’s really okay. And theater geeks will follow you. Where. Ever. You. Freaking. GO!**
I love you all and have to go dance around my house to Christmas music now. You should too.
*Cue “Stormy Weather” from State Fair
**See The Unanticipated Actor