Monday, November 3, 2008

On Dancer!

"In the 80's" Lilia was my supervisor at Disneyland. She even attended my audition for the Character department. I remember telling her, in the small group interview, about my desire to perform versus my parents' desire for me to go to college.

"Ah, yes, the age-old story," she had replied.

One of my favorite memories of Lilia was when she caught me breaking the rules. I was working as Tummi Gummi Bear during a rather slow day in Fantasyland. I decided to hop into a fenced-in area of grass and dance around to the beautiful music coming from the nearby Snow White stage show.

After a well-executed turn (I thought) in the big blue bear suit, I saw Lilia standing with her arms crossed in front of her, trying not to laugh. My instinctive reaction was to jump away in fright, as if Lilia herself was the Evil Queen from the famous fairy tale, and flee to the far end of the enclosure. I didn't know, until someone told me later, that in my hasty retreat I had mowed down a child that had climbed into the fenced-in area after me.

That was exactly why we weren't supposed to hop fences while working.

I think I got written up, a sort of documentation of being slapped on the hand.

I also remember Lilia's response when I expressed surprise at being cast as one of the dancing reindeer in the park's Christmas stage show - I was a few inches short of the regular height requirement for those particular costumes.

"Apparently, they were willing to make an exception for someone who could dance up a storm," Lilia explained.

That was more than twenty years ago, and I have never forgotten that compliment or how good it made me feel.

I may be a couple of decades late, but thanks, Lilia!


Lori said...

reason 102 I love you :)

Mike Valentino said...

Dude, Lila died in a car accident 5 years ago. You were too late in your apology. Sorry.