My favorite Annie memories

Jennifer
Jennifer

January 12th, 2009, 9:43 pm #1

A few days ago Suzanne asked me to share some of my memories of when I played Annie for a community theater back in 1997. I thought I had better post before I forget (thanks Suzanne!). I hope other people who have been involved with the show will post their experiences now and then (I'm looking forward to reading some of Jessie's stories on this board! hint hint).

I think my favorite moments were 1) finding out a review of opening night said I "sparkled." I thought that was such an unexpected word to describe a child actor. I didn't know how I'd merited it at age 13. And it meant a lot that one of the dancers in the show ran and told me about it as soon as I arrived for my second performance. It didn't make me perform any differently, but I felt more connected to the other cast members, if they cared enough to tell me in person. And 2)there was another crazy moment where the show had just ended and several little children from the audience (I was five feet tall so they all looked little to me) found me in the wings and followed me everywhere, across the stage, through the lobby, back to the dressing rooms, just staring up at me with serious expressions on their faces. If I had been any younger, I might have gloated or told them to get lost, but since I was a stumbling, fumbly, shy teenager I just sort of stared stupidly back down at them.

I came on here a few years ago and talked about these two memories and someone described me as narcissistic. You know what? I have very few good memories of playing Annie. If any of you are interested in hearing "down" sides to that responsbility, I'd be happy to share! These two above moments were like my rainbows on clouds days!
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Jessie
Jessie

January 12th, 2009, 10:02 pm #2

Those are such cute stories! Especially the kids following you around. haha I will definitely start posting pictures and telling stories... as soon as I have something to tell. haha I still haven't had my first rehearsal yet (I'ts tonight) except the first cast read thru of the script. It's been all orphan and Hannigan rehearsals so far, but I start tonight! woo hoo! so yeah, hopefully something fun/interesting happenes during my production thats good enough to post about! haha
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Jennifer
Jennifer

January 12th, 2009, 10:12 pm #3

Yay Jessie you're back! Good luck with rehearsals tonight. Don't get too tired!
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jessie
jessie

January 12th, 2009, 10:21 pm #4

hahaha yep! I've been here the whole time. I've just been really busy so I haven't posted much, except a couple threads down about when I saw Annie with Meghan this weekend.

and I will try not to get too tired. haha I'm auditioning for Urinetown this week, so I have back to back call backs and rehearsals. I'm going to be super busy this week! haha
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guyn
guyn

January 13th, 2009, 12:29 am #5

A few days ago Suzanne asked me to share some of my memories of when I played Annie for a community theater back in 1997. I thought I had better post before I forget (thanks Suzanne!). I hope other people who have been involved with the show will post their experiences now and then (I'm looking forward to reading some of Jessie's stories on this board! hint hint).

I think my favorite moments were 1) finding out a review of opening night said I "sparkled." I thought that was such an unexpected word to describe a child actor. I didn't know how I'd merited it at age 13. And it meant a lot that one of the dancers in the show ran and told me about it as soon as I arrived for my second performance. It didn't make me perform any differently, but I felt more connected to the other cast members, if they cared enough to tell me in person. And 2)there was another crazy moment where the show had just ended and several little children from the audience (I was five feet tall so they all looked little to me) found me in the wings and followed me everywhere, across the stage, through the lobby, back to the dressing rooms, just staring up at me with serious expressions on their faces. If I had been any younger, I might have gloated or told them to get lost, but since I was a stumbling, fumbly, shy teenager I just sort of stared stupidly back down at them.

I came on here a few years ago and talked about these two memories and someone described me as narcissistic. You know what? I have very few good memories of playing Annie. If any of you are interested in hearing "down" sides to that responsbility, I'd be happy to share! These two above moments were like my rainbows on clouds days!
I'd be interested in the downsides. Please share! What was negative about playing the lead?
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Suzanne
Suzanne

January 13th, 2009, 2:33 am #6

Me too. I don't think you are alone in being the "star" and having downers... I have a bunch of those stories too. I'd love to hear them.

Suzanne
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Meghan
Meghan

January 13th, 2009, 5:12 am #7

I'd be interested in the downsides. Please share! What was negative about playing the lead?
I'll just say that while playing annie is an amazing experience, little girls can be very very jealous and sometimes not so nice.
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Jennifer
Jennifer

January 13th, 2009, 2:39 pm #8

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.
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Cookie
Cookie

January 14th, 2009, 3:47 am #9

thats so sad
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