My niece, Jayla loves Michael Jackson. How this phenomenon happened is beyond me. For some reason she heard the music and was transfixed like so many of us. I drove my grandmother to see my two nieces and sister about a month ago and this is how the story goes.
My sister turns on MJ’s Don’t Stop (Till you get Enough) and my niece looks around like she’s obligated to perform and is not really happy about it. She sits around for a moment and then decides to move. After Don’t Stop. my sister plays Thriller and this is when Jayla looses it. She’s dancing, jumping, moving around to the beat (Yes, she can follow the beat. See the rapping vid after the jump.) But anyway, my sister walks out to grab something from her car and my niece follows her. Now keep in my 70+ year old, Sanctified grandmother is sitting there trying to look amused but is bemused by all of the noise so I decide to turn it off. I reach up and turn off the song as my niece, baby bully, comes running back into the living room and starts yelling at me. “You turned down?” “You turned down?” “No, Jayla, I turned it off, you walked away…it was too loud.” “Don’t turn Jackson down!” “Down turn Jackson down!” I never take Jayla’s rants for granted she’s a Capricorn and super serious at times; especially when someone has made her mad. She was striking her fist in her hand as if she was going to hit me. She very very upset. This tiny tyke all of 2 was really upset, but I can’t help but analyze it as a theatrical performance!
This uninhibited, unabashed two-year old had taught her aunt a lesson. She had me question my own directing visions. How do I get my fellow actors to express such raw, uninhibited emotions on stage? How do I not stiffle their instincts? Should I just turn on MJ and let it rip? I wish I could have filmed this rant but she probably would have stopped. Which got me to thinking about my own work. Because I didn’t go to the best university for directing, many people won’t see my work or know who I am. Would recordings of my plays validate my directing in the same way that it would if I was in a LORT house? Or any house for that matter? I don’t know…in the meantime, enjoy my nieces performance!