essays by Shé

Acting Happy

In Love on September 27, 2022 at 11:21 am

“How did you get into acting?” asked an aficionado of Howling V recently (I played the pink-sweatered sweetie in the movie). The smart-ass answer used to be, “I’ve been acting happy my whole life.” But I was also enthralled with the performers at the Agoura Renaissance Faire when I was a kid. The costumes! The humor! The physicality! The emotions, all on display!

Fast forward to my early twenties, San Francisco. One day I spy a sign in the window of The Other Café, go in, and sign up for the Miss Haight Ashbury Beauty? Pageant. The first year, donning a Roseanne Roseannadanna wig, I sing, “I’m ugly to look at, repulsive to hold,” a piece my mother performed at a talent show on the Jersey Shore one summer in the 1950s. Still onstage, I de-wigged, slapped on a fedora, and Bing Crosby’d, “I’m dreaming of a blonde actress.” Then, flinging the hat into the audience, I morphed into Marilyn singing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

Had. A. Blast.

The second year, now platinum blonde, I put a humerus bone in my top-knot (thanks to my kinesiologist mother), wore a faux-leopard-fur bathing suit, and carried a club, à la Pebbles. And that was just the bathing suit competition.

I quit my job at the bank and took an acting class. Then I auditioned for a summer training program. Got in. Hunh. Lotsa fun, and a lot of hard work. And compatriots! We went to cattle calls together, and attended each other’s open mic nights and showcases. My tribe! I was hooked. And so it began.

Shé performing at the Miss Haight Ashbury Beauty? Pageant, early 1980s
Shé performing at the Miss Haight Ashbury Beauty? Pageant, early 1980s
  1. Great story–lots of energy. Sounds like the beginning of a memoir–

  2. Gracias cousin. Glad you liked it.

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