Look! It's a new weekly happening for me, courtesy of the very savvy Soccer Mom in Denial.
And it's a fun one: Music Monday! Soooo right up my alley... here goes!
“Long strides, Miss Thing. It’s about the long strides.”
Easy for him to say. His legs came up to his larynx. Mine barely made it halfway up my body.
“Walk. Walk. Walk. And turn. Stop. Pose.”
Step. Step. Step. Think of something fabulous to do. Argh.
“Attitude, Miss Thing. Let me see that face.”
Attitude? Jeeze. It was all I could do not to fall into the pool.
It was the Summer of 1990.
And I was getting schooled in the fine art of runway.
I was doing time earning my keep as a girl friday at a small theatre. You name it, I did it. Work the box office. Fill in on the tech crew (complete with black spray-painted keds so I’d blend into the darkness.) Manage volunteers. House manage. Bartend. Write press releases and edit the show program. Answer the phones. Keep ridiculous hours. Drink a lot. Sleep with actors.
It was, to put it lightly, a heady time of life for young precocious impetuous me.
Because of my crazy work hours, especially on weekends with three shows in two days, I, along with the creative crew, had Mondays off. And more often than not, someone somewhere had a get-together. In those days, it was not unusual for theatre patrons to house visiting actors, either in guest rooms or deploy them as de-facto house sitters. On this particular Monday in June, we gathered at a posh house located on an inlet out on the beach. Nice. Very nice. And after consuming large amounts of the drink du jour, we moved our little lay-about from inside the air-conditioned comfort to poolside -- where balmy breeezes blew and pesky mosquitoes flew -- to watch the sunset. Humidity be damned. Per usual, music was playing in the background through pricy outdoor speakers, nonchalantly, more as a supporting player than a leading man. Until we heard this...
“What are you looking at?”
And instantly our lazy lives got a new breath. It was Madonna, telling us to come on and Vogue. We got up and let our bodies move to the music and go with the flow.
Being a little shy around all the very demonstrative, secure-in-their-own skin actors, I kinda stood back and just grooved a little. Everywhere I looked, limbs were flying and poses were struck and lip-synching was the rule, not the exception. Then in the blink of an eye, lounge chairs were moved, tables set aside -- it was showtime, baby. In the words of Daniel Vosovic...
The ringleader was Michael -- a long, tall, dark drink of water with a 1000-watt smile and a permanent impish gleam in his eye. He moved with effortless grace as he started doing his thing -- up, down, turn, pose. Others joined in, but no one could eclipse Michael’s style.
And then he caught my eye. Grabbed my hand. Sent me on my way.
Turn, look, pose, sway -- not so much. Eye contact. Back straight, hips aligned. Charm school on acid.
I was Miss Thing. With attitude. Hear me roar.
I never completely mastered anything I learned that day -- my bod’s not built for runway. Or walk-offs. But I can’t hear “Vogue” without moving and striking a pose. Even in my mind.
Beauty's where you find it
Not just where you bump and grind it
Soul is in the musical
That's where I feel so beautiful
Magical, life's a ball
So get up on the dance floor