I Was a Child Star!Stefanie Wilder Taylor
When I was around six or seven years old, I was chosen from a lot of other hopefuls to play Dorothy in the Jewish Community Center’s production The Wizard of Oz. Although I wasn’t a practicing Jewess, I was getting my after elementary school care at the JCC and it was a hotbed of young gifted wannabe artists so the competition for lead roles was fierce. At least that’s how I remember it.
On the first day of rehearsals, each kid was told to write down the two roles they’d most like to tackle and then we turned them in to the teachers who decided our fates. Pretty much every girl wanted to be Dorothy but I was positive that my biggest rival was Wendy Golder who was hands down the prettiest in our bunch with perfectly distributed freckles on her decidedly un-jewishy nose, long wavy hair (which she already knew how to flip out of her face) and a natural dramatic flair and truthfully I wasn’t much competition for her. Again, that’s how I remember it.
But the Gods were on my side this time and when it was announced in front of all the kids that the role of Dorothy would be played by me and the role of the Wicked Witch would be given to Wendy Golder; a sweet collective gasp erupted from the other kids.
The next few months were probably full of rehearsals, costume fittings and play details but I don’t remember any of that. My next big memory was of the big night itself. I had some beautiful glittery ruby slippers and my Toto was a real dog on a leash (in my mind so he wouldn’t leap off the stage and bite anyone in the face but in reality was probably just because he would’ve wandered around the stage and peed on a mic stand).
I clearly remember the feeling of standing front and center stage singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and earning enormous applause but the rest of the play is a bit of a blur. All I remember is that it was a fantastic night (or day)! I was a star! But there is no video of this event; nothing to check if my memory and the real thing line up in any way. In fact, there is virtually no video evidence of any of my childhood that I know of which may be why I am so into trying to create and capture as many great memories as I possibly can for my three girls.
Elby recently played the Tin Girl in a production of Wicked Wiz (a sweet combo of Wicked and The Wiz) and she won’t have to wonder if she killed it. We have the evidence! From Elby saying her first word (duck) to the twins recent first time at Disneyland to a beach outing with all three gals, we are rarely without a video camera plus two or three regular cameras. I just received a Sony HD Handycam and I have been bringing it everywhere. I will be posting some great video on my blog in the next few months.
Here’s some good news. Babble is giving away two Sony Handycams so you can capture your own family memories. To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on any Sony-sponsored post (including this one) with an answer to the following question: what’s your favorite family memory? Contest runs through 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 30th, 2012, and you may enter once per post. Contest is open to U.S. residents only.
Want a chance to win weekly prizes like a Sony Handycam or a $200 Disney shopping card? Enter to win here!