It scarred me for life.
I was the awkward, gangly age of 11 years old, probably weighing 50lbs soaking wet. In that bizarre in between phase of not a girl, not yet a woman. It was our annual church Christmas production and I, just like every other year, got chosen for the lead part. The lead part was supposed to be played by a boy but the “casting board” (see: my mother and 3 of her best friends) thought that I would best play the part. His name was Max, the Christmas archangel. Or something like that. So they decided to switch it to Maxine. They dressed me in an ill-fitting ivory silk robe and tied wings on my back. And then they made me sing and dance and act, in front of an audience of what felt like 13,000 people but was probably more like 300. Because of the….*ahem*….developing stage I was in, the way those wings tied across the front of my chest made this wanna-boy, hated-being-a-girl, look like she had “developed” well past the age of 11.
My opening line was “Welcome everyone! Maxine is my name and people are my game”. Dumbest opening line ever. EVER.
The problem came with watching the video back later. It had something to do with those old school VHS tapes, the lighting and the shadows in the hall we were in. I don’t know what it was because, frankly, I’ve tried blocking it from my memory. All I know is that when watching the video back it looked like a topless angel was the star of the production. An 11 year old topless angel. Named Maxine. Who opened the show with a line that included “people are my game”. Had my name been “Sarah” then maybe there would have been a little bit of saving grace, but in 1995, “Maxine” totally sounded like a stripper name. And the video seemed to live up to that stereotype of the name. Worst. Christmas. Play. Ever.
And from then on I was always afraid to be on camera. Any dream I may have ever had of becoming an actress was quickly squashed by the reality of my experience as Maxine.
This morning, as I frantically dug through my closet for something to wear, subconsciously steering clear from anything ivory or silk, I was reminded of my Christmas play fiasco that has now become a long standing punchline of family jokes.
Today at 1PMEST I have the honor of hosting Showit Live. Showit is the company through whom I have built my website and I can’t say enough good things about this company! Throughout the week, various “Showiteers” host Showit Live and speak on a variety of topics related to photography, business, and branding. Today I have the distinct privilege of not only hosting it, but of being interviewed by my intern, Katrina (more on that to come). If you are around this afternoon and are just getting into photography or thinking about starting a business, you may want to tune in. Katrina will be interviewing me on why I got into photography, how I started the business, my biggest mistakes, greatest success stories, etc. There will also be live Q&A. You can watch the broadcast here and I really hope to see some familiar faces in the chatroom!
And, for the record, Maxine will not be making an appearance.