I was raised the only daughter of one very ambitious stage mom.
There, I said it.
In just a few short years, she deftly facilitated all that was necessary to make manifest the basic building blocks of a troubled childhood: beauty pageants, headshots, talent agencies, auditions, the whole shebang.
My mother was hellbent that I attain success! so she encouraged me, coached me, and cajoled me. She permed and curled my flat and lifeless mouse-brown hair. She dolled me up, slapped on the paint; she inventoried and camouflaged my endless flaws.
She forfeited her own personal time for the sake of my theoretical triumph. There was, supposedly, some favorable outcome on the horizon. She was in the business of creating opportunities and, if there was an opportunity to be had, I’d better damn well seize it.
My mother, the consummate momager, not only showcased me in beauty pageants but also had me enrolled as a client in a modeling & talent agency. I had a professional resume and headshots. She’d take me on “go-see’s” to various auditions with strict instructions to be effusive and charismatic.
I, both wanting to please her and also wanting to be a STAR! (hello, I was a little girl, ya know), went right along with it, excited at first, then quickly resigned to feigning enthusiasm for that which I began to loathe. The whole concept and everything it demanded of me forced me beyond my comfort zone, into another dimension entirely. It made me anxious, and it made me chronically depressed.