Claudia (clauclauclaudia) wrote,

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[this is prompted by spam mail I just got "from" Leola G-----; it prompted this memory about Lisa G-----, who I went to middle school with]

When I was in seventh grade--I was twelve that spring--I was in a community theater production of Oliver! In those days my hair was in a short round cap, shorter than a pageboy, believe it or not, and I was a skinny little kid. I was cast as an orphan and a pickpocket, and in theory I was understudying the Artful Dodger, but I was never really asked to learn the part--I think this was more an Honorable Mention ribbon than anything else.

That same year the high school was performing The Sound of Music, and so a casting call for the younger kids in the show went out to the other schools. Lisa G-----, who I knew from classes and from chorus, was cast as Brigitta, the middle girl. Everybody in chorus knew when this happened, just like we knew when a couple 8th-grade guys were cast to fill out the gangs in West Side Story the following year. ("JETS!") This was partially because the same teacher was our choral conductor and the high school musical director.

Anyway. Shortly after she was cast, I stayed after chorus for a few minutes, telling our conductor about Oliver!, and demonstrating bits of the song-and-dance I knew so far. He grinned with a gleam in his eye, and asked me why I hadn't auditioned for Sound of Music. (The answer was, I couldn't really do both shows at once.)

I mentioned this exchange to my friend Cathy, supposing, not unreasonably, that if I'd auditioned, I'd probably have been cast as Brigitta. (I suppose he could have been thinking of Marta, but she's much younger and I think a 4th grader was cast.)

Well, that day after school, Cathy and I were leaving school to walk home when Lisa strode up to me and said, "I heard you said you would have been cast as Brigitta instead of me if you'd tried out." And I looked at Cathy.

... you know, these days I'd either laugh it off or rip both of them new ones. But at the time, Lisa was towering several inches over me and Cathy was looking at me blankly, and I just didn't have the emotional resources to answer as the situation deserved. I felt embarrassed and mortified at the betrayal. I said quietly to Lisa, "No, I didn't say that,"* and walked home with Cathy alongside me. Cathy and I remained "friends" through high school--we lived on the same block, no more reason than that, really--but that was the last time I shared my thoughts and feelings with her.

* I had a strong feeling right then that both of them had acted entirely unreasonably and neither of them deserved my honesty. I wonder.
Tags: memories

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