Back when I was younger and more talented, I was something of an actor. You may have heard of some of my better works. Mystery At Shady Acres, anyone? How about when I was nominated for a Golden Globe for my role as the tortured Benjamin Scrimp in Eagle Cliffs’ A Christmas Carol? No? You haven’t seen that either? Well, then.
This story revolves around the last play I ever acted in. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
To be fair, I should never have even auditioned for this play. It was a musical. Any of you who’ve heard my voice can attest to the fact I sound similar to Michael J. Fox in the basketball scene in Teen Wolf, and believe it or not this was also the case when I was 13. Somehow they were short some extra roles though, and I garnered the role of the Magic Mirror. It was a pretty easy part; I spoke in couplets to the queen, telling her how fugly she was compared to Snow White, etc. Memorizing my lines was never tough for me, and because no one on the cast liked me, I was pretty isolated on the wings. No distractions to prevent me from missing my entrances. Also, Belinda the Costume Nazi had shot for the moon with my outfit. A bejeweled wooden frame outlined my boyish face—a face unblemished of facial hair for a good 5 more years. My tights were more looses, as she was unable to find any size that would cling to my chicken legs. My hands held the rectangular fence up, so my head could thrust through the center of the fabric stretching the length of the frame. This “fabric” was actually the strangely patterned, shiny fabric you find on mattresses. That’s right, MATT’s costume consisted of a MATTress cover. I was called many things: Matt the Magic Mattress. The Mattress King. Queerboy. (Some names were more clever than others, thanks MB.) Belinda was also a heavy chain smoker, so each hour spent in my costume was roughly equivalent to secondhand smoking a pack of cigs.
It never occurred to me to wonder what grievous crime I had committed to wind up looking like the offspring of Bobby Brady and a mattress locked in medieval stocks, a cloud of Nicotine constantly swirling around my head.
The first few shows we put on went smoothly, I came out, made an ass out of myself, got some laughs, and walked off the stage. Rinse, repeat. But on the last night, something horrible happened that irrevocably scarred me.
As I came out in the first act, I got the usual look-at-the-slaveboy-in-the-mattress-painting laughter that my appearance allowed when I first walked on stage. So far, so good. The queen gave me my prompt, I delivered my line. As she responded with her usual wicked retort, I suddenly heard a burst of laughter from the front row. I can still hear it. It started out like an explosion, than quickly guffawed it’s way to absurdity—he sounded like a first-rower at a Foxworthy concert. I tried to identify my assailant, but the lights burned my eyes as I looked outwards. My self-conscious preteen mind struggled to comprehend the laughter. Why was this assclown laughing? I’m sure I thought. I didn’t do anything funny. …On purpose. Oh, God. I did something wrong. What did I do wrong? God, why is this guy laughing? Seriously! What the hell! Oh, Christ. I’m going to ruin this entire play. Did she say her line? What was her line? What’s MY line? Shit, why did that guy LAUGH? Who does that? His mother should be taken out behind the auditorium and beaten with a sock full of marbles. Ok, this is bad. I’m pretty sure the play is still going on, and I don’t know what to say. Jesus, come ON! Who laughs like that?! He sounds like a carnie getting his toenails removed!
As the battle raged in my ADDesque mind, I became dimly aware that the Queen was burning a hole in my mattress. She said her line again, but for all I know it could’ve been for the twelfth time. I looked at her and said my line with a burst of relief. Whew. The scene continued and I scampered off stage as soon as I could. My mind kept running back there though. To the unidentified Man Who Laughed Inappropriately.
I’m convinced to this day that that man’s delayed sense of humor is the reason I’m no longer in acting. The fear of screwing up is still too great for me to get over, and a part of me will always remain a little self-conscious no matter how comfortable I get. I auditioned for one more play after Snow White, but I called the director afterwards and withdrew my name. I was out of the game for good.
There’s not much of a moral here, I’m afraid. Just a sad story of a boy who dreamt big but was cut down before his prime. Incidentally, I saw the video of the play some years later (yes, I do actually own a recorded copy of my most public failure! Jealous?) and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I remember. I still look like a ridiculous eight-year-old Mattress Mona Lisa—who completely forgot his line, I might add—but it wasn’t as epic a failure as it was in my head. My voice could shatter windows though. Prepubescence wasn’t kind to me.
On to my Top Friends!
*Yoda voice* The manlove is strong for this one.
Dude, Jake. Honestly, I wish I would’ve met you way before I did. ‘Cause every time I hang out with you I have a really fun time, and to be honest, we don’t hang out nearly enough. You’re a pretty cool person in almost every aspect I can think of. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was jealous of you in my earlier blog. On the outside you just seemed so laid back and cool, and when I got to know you I was surprised at how introspective and thoughtful you are. You are also the furthest person from a douche bag that I have ever met in my entire life. Plus, you’re a badass at golf.
How We Met: I’m sure we met through Taylor at some point or another.
Favorite Memory: “Naughty hottie with a body” Hahahaha! Also, your dad was hilarious on New Year’s Eve.