When I was on the verge of roughing it through my tweens, an amazing thing happened to me. After several years of experience in local community theatre (yes, years – started at 6) I auditioned for and was cast as an Orphan in the National II West Coast production of the musical Annie. It was my first professional job. The show rehearsed in Los Angeles, opened in San Francisco and went back to Los Angeles for an extended run.
The experience was a blast. I got paid to do something I would have easily done for free (heck, I would have paid them!), worked with great people both adult (had crushes on a few) and kid (even though we sometimes drove each other crazy), saw things I had never seen before (male adult actor in g-string bathing suit jumps to mind…), and got to do things I had never done before.
You see, in addition to performing 8 shows a week, we – the Orphans and Annie – were always on the photo-op publicity train. I mean really, if you were a publicity person, and had a gang of outgoing, albeit sometimes precocious girls at your disposal, what would you do? Of course, you would send them on as many publicity junkets as possible.
We judged contests, road the San Francisco Ferry for an “I Love the Ferry” campaign, went to movie opening parties (way past bedtimes), met with casts of other shows, performed on the Merv Griffin Show – twice, hung with Steve Garvey then with the LA Dodgers, (I) danced at a benefit with a very elderly, but still wonderful Gene Kelly, did a layout for May Company (soon to be Macy’s) of the new Girls Spring Line, and the list goes on.
So, about now I suppose you are wondering what in the wide, wide world of sports this post has to do with denim (as this is, you know, denimdebutante.com)? Well, here it comes…
Hands down, my favorite “publicity call” (although the Gene Kelly brush with greatness was pretty high up there!) came on the eve of my departure from the show – age finally catching up with me from a puberty point of view. We, all the Orphans and Annie (in her signature wig, of course) were booked to do a layout ad for Dittos Jeans. Dittos Jeans! Seeing as how my love of denim was already taking root and Dittos Jeans was the planted seed (ok, not sure where that metaphor came from, but you get the idea) this was basically my 13 year old dream come true (as if performing in Annie was just not enough!).
I loved Dittos back then and I love them now. (see my review of their 2012 Spring line).
Seeing as how that whole puberty/aging thing just won’t seem to give it a rest, it is nice to know some things never change.