When it comes to my daughter Macy’s acting, singing, and dancing, I contributed absolutely nothing to the gene pool.
I’ve tried to make up for this, however, by instilling in her a sense of shamelessness (to a point). Thus, from the ages of six to eight, she was something between a pawn and a willing participant in my ultra-low-budget spoof videos.
In “Yogurt Face,” a spoof on “Poker Face,” she sang about her younger sister’s messy yogurt obsession. (“She don’t mind. She don’t mind. No, she don’t mind, her yogurt face. She’s got to love Chobani.”)
In “M.A.C.Y.,” a spoof on “Y.M.C.A.,” she criticized Mayor Bloomberg’s school testing policies. (“Young girl, forget all you know. I said young girl, ‘cause your school needs the dough.”)
In “Lice, Lice Baby,” a spoof on “Ice, Ice Baby”…well, see for yourself.
These videos were all filmed in odd places (e.g., on top of a MetroNaps Energypod, in a random apartment basement/laundry room, and outside of the mayor’s office) and in front of complete strangers. Macy usually wore some ridiculous outfit that we came up with the day of filming. The total budget for all three videos was about $75.
To her credit, Macy went with the flow, embracing the wackiness and ignoring the smirks of people who stumbled onto our impromptu sets, and we had a lot of fun.
At some point her shamelessness morphed into fearlessness, and that was pretty cool.
And it served her well in April 2013 when she auditioned to be Hello Flo’s “Camp Gyno.” When Macy walked into the casting office she was handed a page of lines to learn. Her eyes widened as she read the material. She looked up at my wife and said, “Is this appropriate?” My wife simply shrugged, and Macy got down to business–soon she was laughing at the audacity of the sides. With some girls walking out moments after arriving and others struggling to mumble the word “menstruation,” Macy entered the audition room with her head held high and was soon flinging tampons at the director like nobody’s business.
Of course, the Camp Gyno ad was complete genius and watching it go insanely viral was probably the most fun I’ve ever had.
Camp Gyno was in the back of my mind when I was writing Surviving Middle School: An Interactive Story for Girls, a fun, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style book where the reader gets to make choices when faced with bullying, dieting, internet safety, and other dilemmas, and to see where her decisions lead her. I would have published the book even if the opportunity to create a professional book trailer starring Macy had not come up. But it did.
We filmed the book trailer last September. Once again, I marveled at her ability to take everything in stride, as she learned how to hold a cigarette (Gasp!), donned a pregnancy suit (What?!), and, with the help of an incredible make-up/costume team, was transformed into a 38-year-old who’d had a rough life (Are you kidding me?!).
When I started writing this I had hoped to be able to impart some deep wisdom to you, the reader, about the importance of being true to yourself no matter what people say or think. Instead, I realize that I basically ended up writing about how proud I am that my daughter marches to the beat of her own drum (and thinking how great it will be if that continues when she is a teenager) and sharing with you a video that includes dancing lice. Oh well, there are worse things…