The Soundtrack to My Life No 2: March of the Siamese Children
When I was about 5 I was enrolled in ballet classes. Apparently my mum had concerns for my physical grace. So, worried that I may end up walking like one of her brothers she signed me up to take a ballet class on Saturdays at Italia Conti Stage School in Clapham. I did this every Saturday for about 4 years and I wasn’t half bad, getting quite good marks in my ballet exams I stopped at aged 9(ish). Unfortunately, the training didn’t hold in that I would never have got a part in the chorus of a musical instead I was marketed as an actress who could ‘move well’. In fact I was so bad that one choreographer (Greta), on hearing that I had taken ballet classes as a child replied
‘They must have taught you wrong’. No they didn’t, the teaching just didn’t hold.
But this isn’t about my ill-fated dancing career but before I go on to the focus of this post I should point out that the grace bit didn’t work either. I will simply say once a man had to do the sound effect of me walking in heels for a radio play (yes he wore the heels) because I sounded like I was wearing builder’s boots but that’s a shame for another story.
My parents had the soundtrack to ‘The King and I’ which they played a lot – or should I say my Mum played it a lot and one of my favourite pieces to hear was ‘The March of the Siamese Children’. I hadn’t seen the film at this point, and I didn’t know what the tune was called, so I made up a story for what was going on.
It’s night time in the play room and the toys are coming to life. First the wind up ballerinas, then dainty little dolls come out with a series of twirls, then the teddy bears roll in and other toys (which I can’t remember). What I do recall is the big middle section where the toys soldiers march out, fully regaled and present themselves to the dolls. They then escort them around the playroom into different nooks and crannies until the music ends.
Listen to the music with your eyes closed you’ll see what I mean.
I obviously don’t remember the detail of my story, but I remember creating a world to match the beauty of the music I was hearing. I didn’t know then that I was developing a gift of storytelling.
Are you wondering what you can do next with your life? Are you trying to figure out your innate abilities?
Go back to the stories of your childhood and identify skills, abilities and qualities that might lead you to what you should be doing now, or confirm that you’re on the right track.
Share them with us in the comments below