I remember walking into her studio in the church, fresh from my weekly Girl Guides meeting, silent, shy, unsure of what to expect from this "speech arts" teacher. Her personality enveloped me immediately. I was in awe of this stunning, warm, charismatic woman who thought that I, an awkward nine-year-old girl, was worth her full attention and time.
As a young girl, I was very introverted. I like animals, reading any book I could find, dancing, and dressing up in my Grannie's clothes - my only connection to a woman who had passed away shortly after my birth. I was a very serious child and was moved to tears often. I was, at times, ashamed of my "R's" - tricky sounds that came out all wet. Instead of raining, I said it "waned".
But, when given the opportunity to dress up and perform on stage in my class plays, I came alive! I knew how my character moved, I always knew what to say, what would happen next.
A few months after I had moved to a new preschool, I choreographed my own dance to Phantom of the Opera to perform at the school's talent show.
I once interrupted a juggler to tell a joke (I had gone blank when he asked me earlier and felt the need to redeem my failing career as a 5-year-old comic).
In grade 3, I played Sandman. I got to run around in my pyjamas and my mother made a purple sleeping cap covered in silver stars. I loved my costume, my role, and I felt comfortable in my own skin, a rarity for me. My friend's grandmother had once been an elegant actor. After watching me perform, she suggested to my mother that I begin theatre training.
Through a recommendation from another parent, my mother found "Ms B", a speech arts teacher, and I began the most remarkable journey.
To Be Continued...
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