funny things, intentional and otherwise

Madame Filth's picture

so it came to light that i am a favorite recurring character in lil' filth's little routines.

my kid got into acting when she was about.... what was she ten? nine. she was great, for a kid who just started, for a nine year old. seriously, we send her to a pretty good theater academy, and audiences can be heard saying "who's that kid?" and some other parents have approached me to say things like "i hope you really push her with that, she has real talent."

well i didn't push. i'm not a pusher. i did, however, facilitate and do pretty much everything but the acting for her. i'd find auditions, get her books, type out monologues and time them for her so she can be prepared for auditions. she didn't really follow through though on her own. and, though she still attends theater classes, as a young teenage girl she's shy. no more do people wonder who that fantastic kid is. no more talk of auditions. i've read reviving ophelia, i know about this age. i'm confident that it's a phase and if it's not, she will find some theater art to pursue. not really worried about it, except when i worry about it. part of me is a little sad to see a gregarious kid shut down, talk about her weight, ask to "fix" her ears, etc. not fun for a mom to see.

but i do see her doing tons of shit so i'm not really worried in any rational sense. she's still fearless when it comes to art. she does filmmaking, and tons of writing, and costume design. what she is, is unfocused. which, i think, thirteen year olds are.

but i was happy when she started this improv class because she was performing again, which she used to love. she started watching a lot of colbert and george carlin. i'd hear her in her room reciting shit she'd written and tweaking the order of the delivery and stuff, it's fun to see.

one day i did something stupid and embarrassing in front of people who'd known me for years. my mortification afterward made the kid laugh and at one point she said it's "going in her act." i was like, "listen, if you can get a good laugh out of that story, that's like the only thing that would make me feel better about this..." she assures me that her Filth stories ALWAYS get laughs. i'm like WHAT?

"remember the time the cab driver yelled at you and you yelled back in gibberish? everyone loves that one."

"really? people like that?"

"and when you leave poop on the rapist's lawn, i have a whole thing about that."

"wait... is this in improv?"

"yeah... and at school. it's why i go early, i get on the table and just share the latest dumb shit you did. you're a buffoon, mom. remember when the guy at the bank wouldn't leave you alone and you told him to stop ASSAULTING YOUR EARBALLS?" [it actually came to light that she had whipped out her phone and recorded that.]

sighs... "well.... is it funny?"

"uh, YEAH.... you're silly."

"like, when i'm being funny, or just like when..."

"when you're mad, mostly."

"like... true stories?"

"define true."

"real things that really happened, with potential witnesses so i can't deny it."

"well, yeah."

"oh fuck"

"i'm telling you mom..."


"i mash it up though. to make it funnier."

"well if people laugh, it's totally worth it. you ever see margaret cho?"


i haven't asked if i can go see her perform her "character." i know the answer would be no. and i know i would fucking bust a gut, and bust open with pride, particularly if it works. she says she only does it for kids so far, so the middle school demo LOVES this character. but imagine, in all seriousness, you have kids, if they did imitations of you on stage how would they look?

apparently with me it's singing motorhead at inopportune times and confusing people and, according to the kid, being "paranoid" and "overprotective" and "panicking" over her forgetting to call me when she's not coming straight home from school. i was present for most of these anecdotes, and while technically they all happened, my version would be far less interesting.


mamasan's picture
Submitted by mamasan on

That's awesome! My daughter is a real character at 4. I can totally see her doing that at 13. I hope! My mom would have never thought it was funny. She still thinks we're all laughing at her. Well, we are! That's all I have in common with my sibs - our crazy parents! Anyway, good for you for seeing the humor in it and supporting your dd.

Bee's picture
Submitted by Bee on

That is awesome.

My children see me as a sort of lovable tiny eccentric character actor playing out perverse comedy skits. Which certainly isn't how the world at large views me. No matter how dark or murky my stories, they just laugh and call me baby ninja mama. Kids are so great at taking the piss out of situations.... I prefer having my hair ruffled and cheeks pinched over being taken seriously. When it is my own children, of course.