Many actors and musicians who got their start in front of a live audience later used film or the recording studio to extend their creative reach.
I know; me, too.
It’s second grade, I’m 8 years old, and Trouble is my middle name. I’ve just discovered dirty words. I’ve also discovered I’m a fair hand at prank calls, and the meeting of forbidden words with the telephone is one of those great Aha! events.
I begin with improvisation, live and without a net. I call a number, shout the mot du jour into the receiver, and hang up. This act I perform regularly and to great acclaim at sleepovers and slumber parties.
Like any artist, I grow bored with repetition. The next step is to string forbidden words in a sentence. But a string of words with stinky butt in the middle is too much hilarity for any one mortal to handle, so for a time I’m unable to complete my calls; I abort mission after mission as I and my companions gasp for air.
This inability to stay in character promises to end a short but promising career; that is, until Kim brings her tape recorder to the mix. We continue the prank calls, but now we can play my pre- recorded messages.
That works for a time, but soon, the isolated sentence wears thin. I have something big in mind – something that will include every forbidden word we’ve learned thus far, from magazines and ads, from eavesdropping, from slightly older brothers. My inspiration is the title of an advice column in Ladies Home Journal: Answers to Teens’ Questions.
This will be my magnum opus, and it takes twenty recordings to get the right take. We set it to music. Later I’ll lose the tune, but always remember the lyric:
Answers to teens' questions on
Feminine napkins, boobies, and tits, and
Butts, and bras, and hairy in-betweens.
One doesn’t quickly tire of a masterpiece. We’ll dial and play this tape all summer long, until we're caught, anyway. And by that time we're pretty much over it, but we will have to listen to lectures, and my parents' favorite, "I don't even know who you are."
I could tell them -- I'm Karin, but my middle name is Trouble.