Friday, November 03, 2006

The Woman I Aspire to Be

As memories go, my memory of the first time I ever saw the following tv scene is as sharp and crisp as my memory of the first guy I ever kissed...

(I was 17 and he was a year older, dressed a little like Morrissey, had eyes that burned through you and he chain-smoked cigarettes...one right after the other...which is why I love kissing smokers. You may think it tastes like an ash tray, but to me that nicotine taste is locked into my memory of the first time I kissed someone and actually felt those skyrockets...you know, the ones Peter Brady talked about...the ones that everyone told me they felt everytime they kissed a special someone. Its a cliche and it sounds silly, but I really thought I would explode when he kissed me...no, I didn't mean "down there"...geez...I was strong and held that in till he hit third base - - but after that, it was all over.)

I was working at a video rental store in my hometown of Powell, TN. FYI: Back home, Powell is pronounced "Pal," just like the word "wash" is pronounced "worse" and nearby Dante Road is pronounced "Dainty." And people wonder why we lost the war...

But I digress. I was in Movie Magic (yep...that was the name...) and it was closing time, so I was counting out my drawer and had the tv tuned to a new show only in its second episode called DESIGNING WOMEN. Yep, I was already THAT gay...

In the episode, Suzanne Sugarbaker (the one and only Delta Burke) meets the current beauty queen holding the title of Miss Georgia World, a title that Suzanne herself held back in 1976. And the current Miss Georgia World begins to make fun of Suzanne behind her back because she had that Marlo Thomas flip of a hairstyle and twirled a baton for the talent competition - - like reciting Scarlett's "I'll never be hungry again" speech is any better...and women sporting an 80's mousse-abused hairstyle should not throw stones!

But I digress. Suzanne's big sister Julia (played by Dixie Carter whom I hope to one day become) overhears all of this and corners the new Miss Georgia World. She then gives a speech that mesmerizes me today as it mesmerized me then. This is THE Julia Sugarbaker Terminator speech. All others pale by comparison:



What did you ask? Yes, I know the entire speech by heart. Yes, I have stood in my living room and shouted it over and over and over. Yes, Philip is trying to convince me to use this speech for any audition I ever have that requires a monologue. Did you think Adam Belcore has ever heard a bald man do this monologue?

I hope that someday, when I need the right words at the right time, I will be able to put them all together and face down a bully as passionately, as ferociously and with as much style and raw sex as Ms. Julia Sugarbaker as played by the incomparable Dixie Carter. Plus, getting to sleep with Hal Holbrook would be SWEET!

By the way, the rumors you may have heard about a DESIGNING WOMEN Broadway play starring all four original cast members and written by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason are slowly but surely coming true. Check this out for all the glorious details.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have always loved that scene, must be the southern girl in me.

Ahh movie magic your making me feel really old reminding me how long ago that was.
Kristie

Stephen said...

AMEN!!!! Movie Magic was a long time ago. Isn't it odd that I started working there in 1986 and I was born just two years before that?!?! Fascinating...