Most people do not know that I was a child star. It was a brief flame that was snuffed out way too early. I reminisce on those times with a bit of apprehension yet would not change a minute of it. It made me who I am today.
I started my career at KTVT in Fort Worth Texas. I was about six years of age. I remember being very afraid my first day at work. Would I do well? Will I be good enough for a long run? Will they let me play with the Romper Stompers? *Stands in dramatic Superman pose with fist on hips, looking into the horizon.. Yes, I was on Romper Room.
It was a whirlwind of activities. We had an excruciating schedule of two shows a day. I was a star and I knew it. As with other child stars, my behavior became the sum of all the pampering I received. The incident that ended it all was when I crashed my cardboard car into the one in front of me and dramatically screamed while falling to the floor. It would have been fine..had it been in the script but I was being a professional actor. Aren't you SUPPOSED to scream when you are injured in a car wreck? They had to stop taping to see what the heck was wrong with me. My Mother was given a lecture by the star of the show, Miss Mary Lynn. My Mother, always the typical stage mother, got me in the car afterwards and screamed...
"How could you embarrass me like that? Don't you know that this family depends on this job? We will be homeless if you get fired! You know your Father drinks all our money!!"
The only problem with that was that we weren't getting paid and my dad didn't drink. Mother always did have a flair for the dramatic.
I was a 'has been' before I was a 'been'. I longingly look back at it now. What heights would I have soared to? Where would I have been if my illustrious career had not been stymied by my impromptu method acting? Hollywood? Broadway?
I can see myself now..a brilliant career.. money, fame..stints in Rehab smelling of whiskey and regret... I could have had it all.
I would cry that life wasn't fair but I was given a great gift. I peeked when Miss Mary Lynn told us to close our eyes.. I saw where she hid her magic mirror.
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