I love going home to Philly to see my parents. And I love bringing friends home with me to see my city. Not to mention that my parents get a kick out of being hosts. I always thought this was safe, because while there are pictures of my childhood around, my parents didn't own a video camera. Thus, I was saved from them capturing my humiliating moments in plays, birthday parties, and my attempts at mastering the toilet. And since I was a particularly precocious child (not like I'm exactly shy now), I think that stuff is better left in the past.
Friday night we were hanging out and looking around the house for a movie to watch amongst the many ’80s movies we'd taped off the TV. All of sudden my father smiles with glee and holds up a videotape.
"I forgot about this!" he said.
The tape was labeled "Murder at Muddleston Manor." You're thinking some kind of Masterpiece Theater flick, right? So was I. That was until they popped it in. And then I saw a group of kids, around 5 and 6, dressed like old maids on a stage.
And then I realized, with horror, that it was a play I had been in. I watched as I sashayed onto the stage, chin jutting out, hips rotating, dressed in a little French maid outfit. In addition, I had a French accent. (Actually, I had an English accent, because I had lived in England until I was 5, mixed with a French accent for the play.) I would say things like "It's out of my 'ands." Like I was Eliza Doolittle.
To say my acting was over the top would be an understatement. In fact, I think porn stars are more subtle. There would be dance numbers and I'd be front in center clapping and singing my heart out. Then I'd realize I was supposed to be on the side, so I'd rush over to the corner with great gusto. There were times when I was supposed to be sweeping, but I think I forgot because I was too busy sighing, looking French, and attempting to put both my hands in my one apron pocket. I had so much blush on my face that I looked like I'd had some kind of allergic reaction.
It was bad. Really bad.
Although I wish I still had that lack of self-consciousness. Cause there's no way I'm getting onstage these days in a French maid outfit. Well, maybe, if you pay me. And I can tell some jokes.