Disney Kids : A Childhood Blessed

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Glass Sandcastle
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A memoir of being a Disney kid

Submitted: February 24, 2017

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Submitted: February 24, 2017

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"When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true." Disney Theme Song

My childhood was blessed. I grew up in the suburbs of Southern California when the arts were exploding around us. Pink dance buses transported girls in tutus to ballet class - schools and community theaters produced professional musicals - I had a part in The Nutcracker Suite.

It was during this period that I decided to create my own community theater. I was nine.

Our garage had a loft with stairs and we transformed this into a stage. My father installed a sound system. Our first production of Romeo and Juliet was a success. In our second play, Frankenstein stumbled through the audience terrorizing kids. They loved it!

The crowds grew. We sold tickets. There was standing room only and adults were not allowed.

It was at this time that we decided to produce a multi-neighborhood beauty contest whose template would be based on the Miss America Pageant. When the day came, a huge crowd welcomed the entrance of nine-year-old girls in swimwear.

My suit was a lime green full piece that clashed with red lipstick. I looked like a garden bug. I stuffed the top of the suit with Kleenex; a nine-year-old with cleavage! My friends laughed me off the stage! Mortified and humiliated, I made a quick exit, stage right and ran to the bathroom. I could barely breathe. The music played and the contest continued without me. Yolanda Munoz won that contest in a suit of little girl pink. I have never forgotten that day!

Some might gain a lesson from this: Be yourself. I believe the opposite. Theater and art are about changing reality for the moment, not replicating it. Art exists to take us beyond the mundane to reach for the stars.

Yes, my childhood was blessed. We were "Disney Kids" all over Southern California engaging in our own forms of art inspired by Walt, himself..the same inspiration that created Disneyland.

I owe my childhood to him.


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