“Acute…Girl” written by Julia Sun, directed by Christine Renee Miller; starring Julia Sun.
The audience welcomes the performer on stage with her one-woman show. She chronicles her life growing up in the state of Massachusetts, and she states how she envied a young girl by the name of Stephanie in her 3rd grade class. The performer tells the anxious audience that Stephanie had two friends and the Glamor squad met on Fridays. She reiterates how the day for homework was on Thursdays, and the performer sat next to Stephanie at their meeting place. She lets it be known that she felt very much invisible in her friend’s eyes.
The audience hears all about the performer’s visit to Stephanie’s home, and how she was exposed to a Hollywood style lifestyle in Massachusetts. Stephanie’s mother lived the lifestyle of a movie star with a good life and a good house. She tells the audience that Stephanie was well liked by others. The audience hears all about the trip the performer took with her grandfather to the mall, and she articulates how she wanted a watch with all of her heart, but she states that she was told by her grandfather that she didn’t need it. A month later, for her 10th birthday, she received a gift from her parents. She reminds the audience that she completed her homework before she opened the box, and the gift wasn’t the pink watch.
The performer continues to talk about her life and her love interest, David; and she mentions how she asked Stephanie for an outfit to wear on a special occasion. Stephanie gave her an outfit, and she tried it on in the school and she felt like a princess. She lets the audience know that she knew how Kate Middleton feels to be a princess. She reiterates how she tried to use makeup on her face, and she practiced with the application of it at home. The audience learns that common household items were not good enough for the face. She checked her mom’s closet for clothes to wear and she looked great in them. The performer provides all of the juicy information about her date, David, who picked her up at 6:00 pm; and he made her feel special. When she returned home, her mother raced to get the dress off of her.
The audience gets an update about the performer’s life story as a freshman in high school, and how she got a job behind her father’s back, unknown to him. She was a receptionist and she was able to buy clothes from Urban Outfitter. She provides additional information about her chance meeting with a worker who introduced her into the world of modeling. The modeling coach was a man who was slightly overweight, bald, and over 40 years old. She shares a few of his antidotes with the audience and she reiterates them. The coach said to the performer that she had to carry herself with poise at all times. He assured the student that the way in which she opened the door can make or break her. The performer practices in front of the audience to illustrate her story.
The performer brings the audience into the world of modeling with her stories, and she tells the tale of her aspirations to model for Forever 21. Her modeling assignments were confined to leotards, and she felt special at that time. A friend of the performer influenced her to get into pageantry, and she embarked on the quest. She entered a teen pageant and she traveled to a southern state, and the experience reminded her of a third–world country. Her cab ride was the longest one in her life, and when she got to the location; Miss Georgia wanted to know more about her life. She continues to let the anxious audience know how she was able to evade the curious southern beauty’s question. The performer excused herself and blamed it on being jet log.
She hints to the audience that there was a seasoned pageantry contestant in the competition, and the performer relates to it how she mimicked Miss Teen Nevada in her presentation. She danced like someone who was trained in ballet, and this experience was the turning point in her life. Her dreams and realities of Tiaras and Rhinestones took a back seat. Her boyfriend wanted to attend Princeton University in New Jersey, and the performer evaluated her priorities and career choice. Although she can be who she wants to be, it is still a time consuming endeavor that requires time, energy, and money.
The writer gets her message across to the audience, for it is always a good thing to work with what you have. The need for nicer clothes and other special items surely put a lot of pressure on the performer when she was growing up. I will recommend this show to other theatre goers who may appreciate a heart wrenching reality check and a story to share with others.
The reviewer’s point of view: It’s disconcerting to know that most people are not comfortable in their own skin. Parents must reinforce to their children that they have to work with what they have, and they must try their best to aspire educationally. Education is the only yardstick.