What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Christmas Adventure December 23, 2015

Telling children that your fate in the Christmas play is to have been burned alive is bad. Really bad. But let me tell you how I came close to that crowning moment of inappropriate-for-children glory.

It was a few summers ago when I was playing Maleficent in a children’s theatre production of Sleeping Beauty. I had the whole Disney-style costumes complete with the horns. I became a dragon and had a terrible death scene on stage. I mean, you have to do it up right for kids’ shows.

With the theatre company I work for you do a Q&A after every show. One day a child asked what my horns were made of. I answered in the most clear and child friendly way I could think of.

“You know how inside of your teddy bear there’s fluffy white stuffing? Well, that’s what my horns are made of.”

The children were horrified, thinking that I had somehow snuck into their homes and gutted their beloved teddy bears. I only meant that they were light and fluffy. I didn’t say it was teddy bear guts. But it didn’t matter. I was a teddy bear killer.

A few shows later when I was still being openly mocked about killing teddy bears, another child asked, “Is Maleficent good at the end of the play?”

I said without a pause, “Well, I’m kind of dead, but we can go with me being good.”

And the children were horrified once again. Apparently being stabbed with a sword on stage and screaming in agony is fine. But calmly stating that you’ve been killed freaks kids out.

So I held onto the worst kid’s show answer crown for a while. Until the Skin Horse admitted to being burned alive.

In other news, I leave for Thailand in ten short days! Eek! In the meantime I have to pack, close a show, move, celebrate Christmas, road trip up the coast to visit all the family and buy a new pair of tap shoes.

So posts may become a bit sporadic for a while. I would say that I was taking a break, but who am I kidding. I’m going to end up posting pictures while I’m in Thailand.

Before I head out into the chaos, check out my super cool interview for a chance to win lots of great books, including two by yours truly. And don’t forget to grab a copy of Nuttycracker Sweet for a fun holiday read. There’s taxidermy and ballet, what more can you ask for?

So Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year. And watch, now that I’ve said that I’ll probably post again tomorrow.


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