Wednesday, March 4, 2015
A Star Is Not Born
I think that some people are born for the stage. Not me. When I was in grade two, my class put on a play for the whole school. It was about a princess who was sick and would die unless someone in the kingdom found a cure for her. I was the doctor. I had an Abe Lincoln stovepipe hat made out of colored paper and my line was 'The princess is sick' then I had to deliver the news that someone had to find a cure. I was so nervous. I practiced my lines until my mother told me to stop it. The big night arrived. I went on stage, so afraid. "The princess is not sick." Oops. Did I really just say that? Now the rest of the play doesn't make any sense. I quickly recovered. "I mean, the princess is sick." The audience laughed and laughed. A star is not born. But there was a guy who although he also was not a star, was perhaps the most bloody-minded child ever. I guess it would be grade three. Every Canadian child learns the Huron Christmas Carol at some point. Our grade was slated to do it at our Christmas pageant for the parents. We all dressed up like what we thought Indians looked like, which was not Huron Indians but some sort of Hollywood plains Indians. The buckskin, the feather, you know. I think his name was Dale. He was going to play the beat and then when we switched to our other song after the carol, he would play that beat. Well, he had an idea. He would play the 'Indian beat' and then go Da da-da Da Da, Da Da. Our teacher, Mrs. Petersen didn't want him to. Never mind that, just switch beats. In our practice we witness a might tense stand-off between the two as he would go ahead and play his version. She would stop the rehearsal. "Never mind." She would say. "Just switch beats." But then he would do it again. Night of the pageant. Would he do it his way or her way. No bets were taken at that age but everyone wanted to know. Would he crumble? He didn't. Right on stage, in his Indian costume, he played Da da-da Da Da, Da Da. He had won. And I might add, Mrs. Petersen was behind the curtain. "Just switch." No use. Sheer bloody-mindedness.