Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Being Betty Windsor (Part 2)

Now I'm making a graceful exit - stage left. But it's been memorable and I want to thank my dear friends Deb & Rob Bowen Saunders from Hoozatt Entertainment for all the opportunities they provided me with.

And I want to thank all those instant audience members who played with me - for just seconds or hours - uplifting both or all of us in the spirit of fun, whose names I will never know.

They wouldn't know me from a bar of soap either - and often didn't as soon as I changed out of costume and into civvies in some improvised dressing room at a fair or festival. But we met, laughed and even loved - and our hearts, if not our minds, will remember that.

Finally, I wish to pay tribute to the woman herself - Queen Elizabeth 11 - who unknowingly but generously provided me with the most consistent career of my peripatetic life (up till now), and whom I seriously respect as a model of commitment and perseverance. I'm sure, in another life, we would have got on quite well - despite the discrepancies in our life situation, status and wealth.

Besides, now she's starting to look like me.... And personally, I think it's a fair exchange, because I sport two 'Queen-shaped lines' around my mouth that I - Janet - never put there! Hmmph!

Thank you all, and may you all have a right royal read of my blog!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Being Betty Windsor

I'm a sixty year old woman who has spent more than half her life pretending to be someone else.

Someone more famous, someone richer, someone with more status...I'm talking about Being Betty Windsor.

The first time I stepped out of being myself to being HER ie Her Majesty the Queen of England (my looming alter ego) was in 1975. I was running a market stall with some hippie-ish friends and we were joking around.

I grabbed a plastic bucket, put it over my head and began speaking like the Queen. Mad, you say? Yes. But I would prove to be madder. Realising that I did a pretty good job of sounding like her (that year at the New Zealand National Drama School had obviously done something for me), I proceeded - slowly, as is my wont - to send tapes to friends for special occasions like birthdays.

It grew from there. To the point that, when I 'abdicated' a year or so ago, I had been on national TV, had performed before an audience of 5,000, and had traveled extensively in South East Queensland, visited New Zealand and had the gig of my lifetime in San Diego. Not to mention all the gigs in RSL's, parks, boardrooms, markets, festivals, balls, cruises where I graced the masses with my impertinent 'royal' presence.

Most of this 'queen partying' happened over a 10 year period in my fifties. Instead of sobering up as I aged, I was staying young by being outrageous!