Let's do this, here we go! The other kids would flounce away with their noses in the air if I tried to talk to them backstage. I don't think I got to say more than one word to those girls after music rehearsals ended (like the second day of rehearsal). And on stage, they were really catty. Once while we were performing A New Deal For Christmas, one of the orphans reached over another orphan and pinched me really hard. Also, no dynamics between our Molly and Annie. The director had to change the blocking so I never picked Molly up, because the actor fought it. She'd twist right out of my arms before she left the ground. Mollys can be difficult to work with, for anybody out there interested in playing Annie. Now you know. And another girl would copy all my movements in Hard Knock Life even though I had different choreography than the other kids. And for the first several days of rehearsals, I could never hear myself sing Tomorrow, because the other kids would always chime in. There were a lot of little moments like that. And my mother was always there, so she picked and chose her favorite personalities among the other actors and we had a lot of backstage drama among the adults that my mother kept up on and filled me in every night on who was cheating (I'm being dead honest) and other crazy stuff. The only thing that really kept me going was a very nice director, and a few very nice adult performers. Once during a dress rehearsal, mine and Miss Hannigan's mikes went out and we were told to stop for a moment. So I sat down across from Miss Hannigan at the desk and I thought, "This is the first time I can breathe." It didn't last long. That same night, one of the techs played pranks on me by switching my mike on and off. He got in big trouble, but it super-frustrated me.
I got flustered once during a performance of the first act, when an actor manually switched off my microphone backstage (even adult actors can be childish) so the audience couldn't hear me during the Sandy scene. The director and the techs couldn't figure out what happened (I didn't know what happened; I wasn't paying attention to my mike backstage), but when they finally did, the director literally ran on stage during "Tomorrow" and manually turned my mike back on. The audience thought it was interesting.
Another down side to playing Annie was the stress it put on my parents' marriage. They stayed together, but they were so tired of not seeing each other that when I got cast as Little Fan in Christmas Carol like a week after Annie closed, my dad made me turn it down. I cried for a day, and months later he apologized, but considering all the hassles and family problems during Annie it had probably been for the best. My mother and I were gone from five-thirty p.m. to 1 a.m. every night, and all day Saturdays for at least four months, so we would be tired when we got home and start fighting with each other, too. It's ironic that my memories of Annie are like the ultimate coming-of-age, while Annie is a child's role. I'm just glad I got to go through it once, since it was all I wanted since I was 10.
Posted on Jan 13, 2009, 6:39 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52