Friday, June 17, 2011

The Actress: Bailey

She flashes her dark brown eyes, tosses her locks and fidgets. Bailey is abuzz. Bailey squirms, whispers and rarely sits at attention. Bailey is abuzz. Bailey strides to center stage, hands on hips, and assails her co-star with a Shakespearean barb. Bailey is an actor.

"Bailey, shhh."

"Bailey, you probably don't want to be talking during the dance....We can see you."

"Bailey, slooooow dooooown."

Bailey is abuzz. Bailey is an actor.

She seeks light like a moth. Intrepid is at her disposal. Her voice is clear; Bailey will be heard, no question about that.

"Bailey, what do you want to do when you grow up?"

"I want to be an actress on Broadway, Ms. Ryane."

"Okay. Let's look at what you've learned and where you need to go."


"Focus has to be your new best friend. Remember how many times I asked you to slow down the pace in Hermia's nightmare?"


"And when you finally took your time with it, remember how the audience listened?"

"Yeah," she twitches, squiggles and leaks a satisfied grin.

"That's the power. Your job is to tell the story through your character. The audience doesn't know Hermia....You have to take them there, and that work requires stillness and focus."

"I know, like, I think about how my face looks and how angry I am with Demetrius...."

"Here's the thing, Bailey. You never have to think about how your face looks, ever again. That's not where your focus needs to be. You have to put all your attention into the other actors. You have to think about how you're trying to change those people to get what your character wants."


"And think about this: every day, from the moment you wake up, you are in relationship with people. The way you behave with your sister is different than how you are with your mom and different than how you are with your teacher or best friend. All those parts of you are in the characters you will play."

Bailey gives a bum swivel on her bench. She blossoms in a big smile and whispers: "Broadway."

"Okay, you go, back to class."

"Bye, Ms. Ryane," she quips and skips.

I know her. I was her....I was reprimanded far too many times for exuberant chit-chat.

Alas, my little actress. Alas.


If I had a life of peace I would live in a 1 story house. It would be blue, purple, and yellow. It would smell like citrus fruit and lavendar. I would wear dresses, tights, flats, and a prettie bow. I would eat meats like turkey, beef, pork, and ham. I would eat vegitables like brussle sprouts, asparagus, and artichoke, sometimes bean, meat, and corn. I would take long walks and live in small towns with cute animals like squirls and birds. I would live near rivers with rocks. I would hop and sing peacefully.
Ellie, 5th grade

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