Let me preface this by saying that I don’t have children. There, I feel better already.
I’m currently in a community theatre production, and there is quite a mix of ages in the cast. We start with the funniest 6-year-old Beatles/Warhol fan, move up to the brilliant 10-year-old who knows EVERYONE’S lines in the whole play, then we meander through the teenage years with several in the 13-18 crowd. Once we hit the twenties, the ages get a bit more spread out – there’s the college girl (21), then a handful in the 24-30 range (myself included) and then a few folks in their 40s and 50s.
The age spectrum is really NOT what this post is about. The 13-year-old girl in the cast is the subject.
Bless her little heart. Okay, now can I talk about her?
I want to punch her mother in the face. Seriously. A 13-year-old CHILD could never come up with the stuff this girl has come up with on her own. Someone is behind the madness.
I’ll chronicle her time with me (and from thence she will be referred to as Flower):
- Flower gets cast in a play (though she lied about her age to get the part she got).
- Cast becomes annoyed with Flower and her awkwardness (though we all thought she was 16 – and it turned out she was only 13…which explains the awkwardness – at least partially).
- Flower begins acting rather boy-crazy. This is typical of most girls her age. What is NOT typical is for her to be hitting on guys twice her age (which she readily does).
- Flower sits in a stairwell in a dress with her legs together. A male in his mid-twenties walks by, and Flower immediately opens her legs. WTH?
- Flower plays a nurse at one point in the play, so she offers her costuming advice to the director. “I was thinking I could maybe be a sexy nurse…you know, nurse by day, stripper by night.” Yes, she really said those words aloud.
- Hellbent on being the sexy nurse, she leaves her modest nurse costume (like from the 60s) unbuttoned past her boobs. The costumer comes in and tells her she needs to be covered up – then adds a jacket to the costume (just to make sure).
- Flower comes in wearing one of her costumes (a 60s era dress) with too-high-heels (that she can’t walk in) and asks the female adults in the dressing room if she “looks like a ho.”
- Flower tells her mother she’s going to lunch with the cast after one of our daytime performances. What she should have told her mother is that the youngest person going to lunch was 21. Apparently either her mother didn’t care…or she lied. She shows up at lunch, plops herself down next to the guy she opened her legs for (reference #4). That would have been fine (I guess), except we didn’t really know she was coming and several of the adults had ordered “adult beverages” (I did not). Flower proceeded to whisper into the guy’s ear repeatedly. It turns out she was asking him for his beer. He declined. It got worse…when the guy needed to get up to go to the bathroom, Flower looked at his glass. He chugged what was left. Then she said, “Don’t leave those drops unguarded.” He handed his glass to one of the other adults at the table.
- Flower, stuffed one of her character dresses with an apron and a bag to make herself look pregnant (obviously unscripted). I said, “Um, no. Take that out! What are you thinking?” To which she replied, “I just wanted to get kissed in that scene” (also obviously unscripted).
- Flower has other cast members zip up her go-go boots (which were not part of her original costume) – which leads to awkward cast moments…she’s 13!!! 13!!!
Meanwhile back at the ranch, I’m worried about and for this girl. Who are her parents? What are her parents teaching her? How can we help this poor girl? She is only in 7th grade, and yet I can foresee her as pregnant before high school. What is my responsibility to this girl? Do we say something to her…to her mother…to the director?
I’m praying for her right now, because quite frankly that’s all I know to do.