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!