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O, Theatre and Teen Jealousie

I am inspired, by jedmiller's mention of theatre involvement last week, and by impetuousnote's mention of tedious ex-boyfriends, to reminisce today about an incredibly dumb incident in my youth.

But first, the opening act: found by pegkerr: Remarkably well-done filk on "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General", from Aragorn's point of view. Some favorite couplets:
I'm Estel and I'm Aragorn, and Elessar and Strider, too
I've hunted orcs and trolls and wargs, and sometimes a Black Rider, too.
My sword is old and busted but I wield it with impunity
And draw it out and flourish it at every opportunity.

Hee hee. OK, anyway...

When I was fifteen, my boyfriend (who will we fictionally continue to call Aaron) convinced me to try out for the school play with him. The play was called Blue Denim and was a sentimental drama set in the '50s about a teenage girl who falls in love, gets pregnant, and gets an abortion. Aaron thought it would be pretty rad if he got the part of the boy and I got the part of the girl. I, for one, thought it would be weird and unpleasant, and would have preferred getting the chance to kiss some other guy on stage instead, but I kept that thought to myself.

Well, to everyone's total shock, I got the part of the girl. A fellow named Tim got the part of the boy. I barely knew Tim, but he was a pleasant and well-behaved guy. Theater-clique people who hardly talked to me before were congratulating me in the halls the day that cast list went up. Aaron, however, was not very quick to congratulate me. He was feeling slighted at not getting the part (or any part for that matter), and was something of a wet blanket on my giddy success. Luckily for him, he had at least one ally in the form of a girl who had tried out for my part. "I'm sort of glad I didn't get it," she reputedly said to him. "I mean, I wouldn't want people to think I AM that kind of girl." (*roll eyes*) Aaron's further comment to me: "And they will, you know." He was perfectly serious, too. What-ever.

I spent a couple months rehearsing with the cast, memorizing lines, and learning to make out with Tim onstage. In case you've never had to kiss anyone for purely theatrical reasons, and have wondered what it's like, then I assure you it is weird. You feel like you're really, really intruding on their personal space. There's a lot of nervous giggling and apologizing. (But then, we were 15 and 16, and not exactly professionals.) Only toward the final days of dress rehearsal was I able to keep kissing him on that sofa for the full 30 seconds or however long it took for the lights to go down and the scene to end. I always broke it off somewhat early before that, and said, "OK, OK, then the lights are down." Tim teased me for it, but I got past it in time for the performances.

Mainly I tell you all this to make it clear that, on my part, there was no inclination to find this activity hot. I liked Tim as a person, I trusted him, and I greatly enjoyed being in the play, but this was nothing like making out with someone for recreational purposes.

But hey! We fooled the audience! On the Saturday night performance, Tim stoked 'em up a little by pouncing me on the sofa, in that last second of stage-light; a cute culmination to the previous half-minute of kissing. While we lay there laughing in the dim bluelight after the curtain fell, we could hear them out there whistling and catcalling along with applauding. (You know: the titillated "Wooooooh!" of the sitcom studio audience.) Neato! Fun! This was entertaining for us all! So I got up and trotted backstage; Tim stayed on for the next scene. But after I got changed and was wandering around during intermission, here came Aaron, through the backstage side door, stalking straight toward me and looking deeply pissed.

"What was THAT all about?" he wanted to know.

"What was WHAT all about?" I, in turn, wanted to know.

"That looked WAY TOO REAL," accused my trusting boyfriend.

Huh?? Well, I thanked him for complimenting my acting skills, but assured him that they really were just acting skills and nothing more; and by the way, where did he think I learned how to kiss? That's right - from him! It should have looked familiar, shouldn't it?

He didn't buy it. Something must be going on here. The way I went down from Tim's lips and kissed his neck - how dare I? That was going way too far!

I pointed out that actually kissing someone's neck is less awkward than kissing their lips, so I was basically avoiding being intimate by kissing Tim's neck.

Yeah? YEAH?, persisted Aaron. Then how come - aha, gotcha now, girlie! - how come Tim enjoyed it??

I had no basis for imagining that Tim enjoyed it, and said so. Aaron hauled over Dylan, who was one of his classmates and a stagehand on this production. Dylan whispered in my ear that Tim had stayed firmly put on the sofa in the next scene, rather than getting up and strolling around like he was supposed to; and that everyone figured it was because he, indeed, had enjoyed that make-out scene way too much.

Well, that just sent me into giggles. Immature of me, yeah, but really, the whole thing was silly and bizarre. But, oooh! Mistake! Shouldn't have giggled! Aaron took that as a sign that I was pleased with the idea of arousing Tim. Oh, good LORD.

He had the decency to go back to his seat before the next act started, but my good mood was wrecked. I sat around in quiet fury backstage and spoke to nobody. After the play, Aaron accosted me again, out in the hallway, where the other actors were getting hugs and congratulations from friends and admirers. Not me, no; I was against a wall getting a monologue about how unhappy Aaron was with me. Yay!

And you want to know the irony? You knew there'd be some irony, right? Part of the irony was that I was, in fact, interested in another guy. But it wasn't Tim. It was, as it happened, one of Tim's friends who I knew from before. (And, as it also happened, I ended up marrying yet another of Tim's friends - but that's a different story...) :) Oh, and the second part of the irony? Tim did like me, as it turned out. I pulled him aside in the hallway one day, shortly after the play had ended, to show him some great photos someone had taken of us in costume. He smiled and said a few pleasantries, then looked shyly at me, handed me a folded-up piece of paper, and said, "I wrote this for you. Just read it. You don't have to answer if you don't want to."

Wha...?

Yep. Love poetry. Oh dear.

I wish I could say there was a tidy resolution to all this, but there wasn't. Aaron persisted in lame jealousy fits for the next year, before I called it enough and broke up with him. I wrote Tim a note in return, saying I was extremely flattered but didn't think it was going to work; he took it graciously. I never got another lead in a production again, and will certainly never get to play a teen temptress again.

So, the moral? Break up with these idiots before they ruin your successes with their own hangups. And laugh. Yes, laugh!

*bow*
*curtain*

P.S. Found this one photo of us in Blue Denim. So you can see part of the Sofa That Got Us All In Trouble.

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
oloriel
Oct. 19th, 2003 02:15 pm (UTC)
*applauds*

Cute story. It so reminds me of my (unsuccesful) attempts at school drama. I always ended up with some supporting supporting role, and yet, the last time, I had to kiss another character. It was rather awkward. But at least my boyfriend merely said he wished he had been in the other guys place but did not accuse me of anything...
mollyringle
Oct. 20th, 2003 08:14 pm (UTC)
Glad yours turned out less "dramatic." :) Hope the other actor was cute, at least...might as well have a pleasant memory from the whole thing!
ofthedevilwater
Oct. 19th, 2003 02:25 pm (UTC)
*standing ovation*

Is it any wonder that celebrity marriages don't last when both persons are off kissing their colleagues more than each other?
mollyringle
Oct. 20th, 2003 08:15 pm (UTC)
Hee. I've wondered about that, yeah. Maybe if it had been a young Ewan McGregor who was my co-actor, my boyfriend would've been right about his suspicions...;)
bitter_jade
Oct. 19th, 2003 03:03 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness aren't you adorable!
mollyringle
Oct. 20th, 2003 08:17 pm (UTC)
Or at least I was when I was 15... ;)
sopdetly
Oct. 19th, 2003 05:23 pm (UTC)
Once again, I'm drawn in by your writing style :) Great story, thanks for sharing!
impetuousnote
Oct. 19th, 2003 05:32 pm (UTC)
Heh..now I know what you're talking about! And just so you know, I probably would have started giggling too. ; ) I'll take your advice to heart.
bluesound
Oct. 20th, 2003 02:13 am (UTC)
I always find myself wanting to laugh or smile at things at a completely inappropriate time. Fortunately I've haven't managed to offend anyone by doing so... yet.
rachel2205
Oct. 20th, 2003 06:18 am (UTC)
You look so different!

And as for the story - teenage boys are all so silly, aren't they? :)
mollyringle
Oct. 20th, 2003 08:25 pm (UTC)
I haven't had hair that long in ages...

Yeah, teenage boys are definitely silly and quite as melodramatic as teenage girls, despite the stereotypes. I've been pleased to find that men do seem to improve with age so far. :)
adele_murray
Oct. 21st, 2003 12:08 am (UTC)
Hehehe. That was a great story. Reminds me of my own attempts at high school drama. Except I had grand delusions of grandeur. Yes, my ONE SINGLE LINE was THE most important line in the entire play, I assure you. *Sigh* I've decided to stick with directing, so put your mind to rest... I'll be staying off the stage for awhile yet, unless I regain those delusions and decide to cameo all the time, like Hitchcock.
~ Jak
dirae
Oct. 21st, 2003 07:16 am (UTC)
Molla...

Remind me to post some images of Kevon from our theatrical high school days. Noticed I mentioned Kevon... I won't be sharing my embarassing images from the plays we did. :)

Back to Kevon, the one of him as a "gay" pirate is too cute. Or the one of him in his red pjs with the butt-flap - that is a classic. Hrmmm. Way too many to choose from.
mollyringle
Oct. 22nd, 2003 05:55 pm (UTC)
Hehe! Well, I seem to have a pic of him from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in what appear to be pajamas (b & w photo, and from the front, so I can't tell if they're red with a butt-flap, but chances are good...). I think he must have sent that along in IRC days, once upon a time. Gay pirate I have not seen. Most pirates do look gay, of course, just outfit-wise...
jedmiller
Oct. 21st, 2003 09:29 am (UTC)
That was worth it just for the photo! Oh the dray-ma!

You are lucky Tim was a good kisser. I was in a show in college about a couple in college who get pregnant unexpectedly. The woman playing opposite me was /not/ a good kisser, and when the cast watched the video later that year, you could clearly see me /clamping my hand/ around her neck to try and get her to /stop swiveling her head around/. I think she thought head-swiveling indicated passion - or maybe for her head-swiveling /was/ passion... I dunno. It was annoying.

There was also the night that my real girlfriend came to the show and ended up running backstage between scenes and throwing up. This may have been from jealousy over watching me and the onstage girlfriend (no need, believe me), or because at the time she was afraid that /she/ was pregnant (she wasn't, thankfully).

Someone else I know is convinced that all student theater exists /only/ so people can make out with their co-stars and scene partners. Your story further confirms my belief that she is wrong. Glechhhh... :-]
mollyringle
Oct. 22nd, 2003 05:56 pm (UTC)
Hah. OK, I think your story beats mine for sheer unpleasantness. Yes.

Swiveling one's head around?? I get a mental picture of a cat trying to avoid taking a pill. Not at all romantic. :)

Maybe with different people these make-out scenes would have been fun. I suspect this could be true. But it never turns out that way, does it?...hrmf.
jedmiller
Oct. 23rd, 2003 12:10 pm (UTC)
Great. It hadn't occurred to me that she was /feigning/ feigned pleasure and the swiveling was actually evidence of her disgust. Thanks for giving me a new way to ruminate on my lack of appeal! : ]
mollyringle
Oct. 25th, 2003 03:47 pm (UTC)
Heheh...oh, she may have meant it to look like passion. It just seemed, from the description, that it would look like avoidance. Though I haven't seen the videotape to verify this. :)
shebit
Oct. 21st, 2003 06:51 pm (UTC)
Nice story - ahh, teenaged boys, bless.

And thanks for the link to the filk - it's rather good.
ishyface
Oct. 22nd, 2003 03:22 pm (UTC)
Just out of curiousity...
Is Aaron the same one who you mentioned on your site, the one who "accused" you of wanting to be sexy? Or is that a whole different breed of camel?

~Jehane
mollyringle
Oct. 22nd, 2003 05:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Just out of curiousity...
Yep, same one. He was a barrel of laughs. :)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )