Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm Gonna Live Forever!

In my last entry, I shared about how my musical career was sidelined by a certain executive in the music industry, my 7th grade English teacher and a couple of high-school bullies. Well, what I didn’t mention due to the painful memories of the situation, was the involvement of my very own parents. The very people that were supposed to support me and my dreams are the very ones that stomped them into the ground… It’s a very sad story which goes something like this...

When I was 15 or 16, I was finally mature enough to realize that I wasn’t destined to become a recording artist. No sir. Being a mere singer was suddenly passé. I was meant for bigger and better things. Gigantic, lighted marquees on Broadway to be precise. I saw my name in lights even if nobody else did and I threw myself into the world of musical theater and began my journey toward being the toast of New York and the theater world at large. Oklahoma… Fiddler on the Roof… Sweet Charity… I did ‘em all and I can honestly say to the best of my recollection that I stole the show each and every time… Who else would the applause be for? I was one singular sensation.

Around the time that "A Chorus Line" became the soundtrack to my life and I was just waiting for the music and the mirror, Fame became my favorite television show. It wasn't so much a TV show as it was a documentary of the life I was supposed to be living. I remember watching that show thinking only one thing: “I can do that.” Mrs. Grant was my favorite teacher… She knew what I knew. “Fame costs… And right here is where you start paying… in sweat!” I was ready to sweat. I was ready to scrunch down my leg warmers and leap across the floor. I was ready for her to transform me into the star I already knew I was. Doris Schwartz and Bruno became my new best friends. Nobody understood me better than they did. How could anybody else know so intimately the struggles and heartache of forging a career in theater? I was desperate to be discovered. I was desperate to audition. I was desperate for the applause and adoration what I was certain to achieve with my unfathomable talent. That meant that there was only one thing to do. I needed to attend the High School of Performing Arts in New York City. I was going to live forever and light up the sky like a flame.

Now this is the part where my parents, lacking vision and being completely unsupportive threw a brick threw the fragile window of my dreams. They found it unreasonable that I, a full grown 16 year old, should be allowed to move to New York by himself and go to school to learn his craft. Round and round we fought and never did I hear a satisfactory answer. “You’re too young”, “It’s not safe” or as my dad would say “When you are 18 you can move anywhere you want and go to any school you want.” Usually summed up in the short sentence “Hell no!” How else would I truly identify with the lyrics of “Out here on my own?”

Didn’t he know that by the time I turned 18 I would be the has-been that never was? My own parents ruined my career – and on purpose. Not that I am bitter now. Well, not too bitter… I do find it hard to look at old episodes of Fame and think about what could have been… I could have taken Doris to the prom. I could have given Coco the much needed wardrobe and hair advice she so obviously craved. All this I would have done gladly, but was robbed of the chance. Do you know, to this very day my parents still do not see the error of their ways. They have yet to show any remorse. So what if I got mugged. It happens in New York and would have made a great scene in my Tony-Award winning one man show. The only thing to do now is to kiss the day goodbye and point me towards tomorrow… And baby, remember my name!

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