Fat Girl on Stage
So I am so excited about the new Zaftig Thespian blog. Welcome to the fatosphere!
I am excited because I too am a card carrying Thespian. Although I have not done theater since college. Sadly, one of the main things that has kept me out of theater professionally, and amaturely is my weight (and height.)
When I was in High School I was the Queen of Musicals. From my sophmore year on I had a major role in all of our musical performances. (Our Drama teacher at the time was big on seniority so a sophomore with a singing role was almost unheard of.) My Major roles were Lady Thiang in The King and I, and Bloody Mary in South Pacific. I sang in all of the choirs, I was in the St. Louis Symphony Children’s Choir (until I got kicked out on tour, which is a hilarious story for another time.) I took voice lessons. I was into music, and preforming.
I always knew that I wouldn’t go on to do shows or sing professionally, because I was fat. My parents insisted I get a practical major in college because I would never “make it.” The implication that I wouldn’t “make it” because of my fat was not lost on me.
It’s not that I regret my decision to become a nerd, but I do regret that that decision was made for such superficial reasons. I know now that ultimately I do not have what it takes to be a professional artist. I don’t have the thick skin, the work ethic, the never say die attitude that one really needs to make it. (Which is obviously why I caved to my parents so easily.) I may not even really have the voice or the talent.
So why did it have to be about my weight?
It’s really hard to figure out if the reasons I get overlooked in auditions is because I’m not good enough, or because of how I look. I am planning to audition for an amature production of Pirates of Penzance in a few weeks, and it is hard to shut up that voice in my head that says “They’ll never cast you, you’re too fat, you’re too tall. You don’t fit any of the roles.” I haven’t been practicing nearly as much as I should and the peice I picked is really hard, so more likely I wont get cast because I am just not that good.
I’ll likely never really know.
But I love to sing, so I’m going to keep singing for myself even if no one will ever pay me to do it.