My daughter has another big audition coming up—principal in a movie. What this means for us is that when the sides comes in, Emily and I sit down and have a conversation about the character—who she is, what she likes, how she might behave, how she might dress. And then we learn the lines. And learn them some more. And learn them some more. And then we run them. I have played the dad, the mom, Jane and Michael Banks, the sister, the friend, the classmate, the Tin Man, the uncle, the cousin, the entire cast of Hairspray, the bus driver, the teacher, the neighbor. And you know what? I have played them pretty damn well.
“You should totally be an actress too, Mama. You are awesome at this.”
“In another lifetime, sweets.”
I mean, save for the time when I really wanted so desperately to be a Mouseketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club and that time I played the lead in my 8th grade play, The Scheme of the Driftless Shifter, acting was not something I ever thought about. I mean, I grew up in Milwaukee. Unless you are Laverne and Shirley, no one is really knocking down doors for you.
But it got me thinking.
What could I do if I wasn’t doing what I am doing right now.
Don’t get me wrong. What I am doing right now is pretty awesome.
I have a day job that I love and I can work in pajamas if I want to (Spoiler alert: some days I want to).
I’m a photographer. I get to play with light and really, truly see people. It’s beyond wonderful.
But recently I was watching Zach Braff do the talk show circuit for his role as the monkey companion in Oz: The Great and Powerful. And interestingly, no one really wanted to talk about him being a monkey. They wanted to talk to him about his Grammy award. Yes, you guys. Zach Braff, the actor, has a Grammy award in his possession. That he won, legitimately.
His award, interestingly, is for compiling the soundtrack to the movie Garden State. Remember that one? The soundtrack that Natalie Portman promised would change my life?
Yeah, well, it kind of did. I loved the hell out of that album.
But, you guys, I COULD DO THAT. I could compile excellent movie soundtracks. It’s a gift I have, really. I could even compile the soundtracks for television shows. The OC? I could have done that. One Tree Hill? Yes! I could be sitting here right now, staring my Grammy award in the face.
Who knew this was a thing you could do and win awards for and make lucrative careers out of? It’s a thing I do all the damn time—mix tapes for the soul.
So, in another lifetime I create soundtracks for movies and tween television shows.
And I would be an actress, apparently.
What would you be?