Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cringing at the Memory of 'Heidi'

During our eighth grade year, the play was Heidi. I don’t remember a lot about it, except I made a fool of myself. It was one of those wonderful moments where I thought I knew more than I actually did. Often, that is really how I make a fool of myself. You think I’d learn, but I do believe that you continue to make the same mistake over and over until you actually learn that lesson.

I had a minor role in Heidi of the butler. I don’t even remember the character’s name. I do remember getting hit by a broom – once again, garnering laughs.

Where I made my mistake was backstage. Because I had been in so many plays, I was sure I knew how to do stage make-up, including mustaches. After all, I had used the stick make-up to get a mustache on in the Tommy Knocker’s play, and I thought my butler should have a mustache. So, when my make-up was completed, I surreptitiously grabbed a brown stick of make-up and apply it liberally to my upper lip.

I was fairly satisfied with the results, but when my make-up person looked at me, she gasped and asked ‘What did you do to your face?’ I tried to explain about the mustache, but she looked at me with a certain amount of disgust and told me that it didn’t look anything like a real mustache.

When I make a fool out of myself, I generally push forward with my same foolishness just to prove I’m not wrong. I’ve learned better now – usually – but as an eighth grader, I hadn’t. I attempted to go out on stage with that smear of brown make-up on. The director stopped me, wiped it off fast just as I was going on, and that was the end of that.

Except, of course, I was mortified. Now, I know that no one else probably even noticed what was going on in my little world, but I felt like the biggest fool on stage. I still mentally cringe a little as I do think about this.


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