Monday, March 25, 2013

I Owe My Artistic Career to The Little Mermaid

Say what you will about Disney, how it's poisoning the minds of our children or what not--which if you ask me is ridiculous because I grew up on Disney and it didn't stop me from wearing pants or rescuing myself or whatever else people complain about. I could vent about not letting movies parent your kids, but that's an entirely different post and since I never plan on spawning, it seems really hypocritical of me to lecture anyone on how to raise their offspring.

I digress.

Anyway, Disney was in its prime of 2D animated features, they were thriving and becoming more and more detailed and absolutely breathtaking in their artwork. This is the world I was born into.

I pity the foo' who entered this world with only SpongeBob.

In 1989, The Little Mermaid hit the theaters and became my instant favorite.

Because mermaids.

Of course I was like two so... that didn't really mean much. But because my mother is extremely musical and I was raised to go to church where we sang hymns for 3 hours, I sang the songs to the best of my ability all day long. Which really was just me singing the "Aah-ah-ah" part from when Ariel is giving up her voice because my memorization skills were not as honed as they are now.

It's okay, you can giggle at that mental image. It's kind of adorable.

Anyway my love for this movie endured enough that I had Little Mermaid bed sheets and comforter and curtains (That I think stayed on my window well into JR High) and she was my favorite Disney Princess ever. Though Jasmine was a strong contender because I thought she was the most gorgeously drawn character ever, but in the end Ariel won out. My mom made me an Ariel costume and long after Halloween, I was still sneaking into the costume box so I could wear it around the house.

Again, because Mermaids.

And one day I was watching this movie after school (morning kindergarten rocked) and my mother was sewing just a few feet away in the family room and I remember turning to her and informing her that I wanted to be Ariel when I grew up. I may have said mermaid, I was 4 or 5 so give me some credit for remembering this at all considering I can never remember where I put my keys five minutes ago.

And my mother probably doesn't remember this because for her it was an average day before her two older kids got home and she was focusing on her sewing but for me the next words that came out of her mouth were absolutely monumentally life changing. Because the next few words out of my mother's mouth was explaining what an actor was and that someone in fact DID grow up to be Ariel. And that she likely had been other people as well.

My mother informed me more or less as an actor... you could grow up to be whatever the hell you wanted to be. And it could change day by day. One day you're a firefighter, the next you're a princess... and not only was it possible, in the world of theater and acting, this was considered NORMAL.

And I was ruined.

From that day onward I was completely ruined for any real kind of profession. I would never be a doctor, or a teacher or a scientist, I would be a pretender. And through my pretending I would adopt amazing identities and tell great stories...

Huh... I guess in a way, Disney did ruin my life. Just not in a way that I will ever regret or consider detrimental.

Except perhaps to this whole "be rich and successful" idea but I'm an artist, who needs that, am I right?


Anyway, that's how this all began. It set me down the twisty artsy fartsy path that is my life and is why I keep going back to bright red hair...