Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Mousketeer for Life
One of my key influences for wanting to become a dancer-singer-performer, besides Dick Van Dyke, was the New Mickey Mouse Club in the 1970's. No, not the Britney/Justin/Christina Aguilera generation, but the one before that, the one where the cast had all been born in the sixties, like me.
The 70's version of MMC had more of an "It's a Small World" theme in its cast, with two African American kids, two Hispanic kids, and one Asian boy, Curtis Wong from Vancouver, B.C.
I was desperate to be a Mousketeer, in any way, shape, or form. I would wear my kelly green mouse ears bought at Disneyland park, with my name stitched in the back in bright yellow thread. Green was my favorite color back then, before the Purple Period of twenty years. Of course, I practiced saying my name with a big cheesy grin while posing for the camera. "Peter!"
I wanted to sing and dance like those kids on T.V. and be cute and likeable and happy. And I wanted to be part of a group, to be included in something.
When I told my dad about this lofty goal he answered, "No, they already have an Asian boy in the group. And besides, your teeth aren't straight."
This was before braces, when I was about 10 or 11. Who knew that straight teeth were necessary to be on T.V. or on the stage?
I still know all of the lyrics to the songs from their T.V. show's album. I have long since lost the original record, but I've managed to keep a cassette tape copy of it all of these years.
Thanks to ebay, though, I now own the record, once again (and yes, I still have a record player).
Sing it with me, now: "Surprise Day, Surprise Day, it's Mousketeer Surprise Day, anything can happen and it usually does!"
Curtis Wong, wherever you are, thanks for representing!