- Vol. 01
- Chapter 03
Beauty and the Beast
The mask was sweaty against my face. Exposing my shining fleshy face to those bright lights had never felt more unappealing. The stage was so hot I thought the plastic might melt the mask to my skull, trapping me forever in this all-too-fitting character. The Beast.
I had always known I didn’t ‘look the part’. When I was a young I would go round to other little girls’ houses and play dress up. Even in frills and lace I felt ganglier and more solid than they were. Dancing around, as they did, they’d seem like little pixies. I was a dwarf. Even in princess attire I’d end up the villain. In 'Snow White' I was the queen. I was the sea witch in many a rendition of The Little Mermaid. By the age of ten I had been every wicked queen that exists in myth, legend and Disney.
But it wasn’t so bad – I was good at playing the villain. Great even. I’ve been every single school play, and I happily auditioned for this one. This has not been a good experience. But I suppose I did it to myself. I could have auditioned for the chorus or one of the townspeople. Male or female… nobody minds when there are no boys around. I didn’t have to go for a lead. But that little ugly girl in a frilly frock got the better of me.
Needless to say I didn’t get Belle. I turned up, sang my best soprano, and got duly appointed as “the other lead”. I tried to back out but there’s not much you can do when you audition for beauty and get the beast. I suppose it was only to be expected. It was an unspoken judgement but I got the message all the same: The mask was an improvement.