A badly kept life secret is that I always wanted to be a Broadway baby — a big, belting, bawdy diva. How does a mild-mannered moppet go from idolizing Anne Frank to wanting to become Ethel Merman? Well, my gateway drug to Broadway was Julie Andrews.
My mum saw her in Camelot in the early 1960s, yes technically I was not born, but did attend on a genetic level. Julie could do no wrong. I could watch her supercalifragilistically clean a room over and over again. Her favorite things and flight from the Nazis kept me enthralled even after exponential viewings of the Sound of Music. I danced around my room, pretending that I had similar powers, to tidy my mess with just the sound of my voice. I ran out into the wind of oncoming Florida summer storms with an umbrella desperate to get swept up into the sky to visit her.
I was not even disappointed once I realized the difference between real people and acting. She is still my heroine. I even became a nanny for a few years in my late teens to have a similar resume, but stopped short of becoming a nun. I regret never having seen her live, but Julie Andrews continues to be an inspiration to my girlhood self, who wants to run around in circles, singing at the top of my lungs until I fall down into an animated alternative reality with Dick van Dyke.
-Ashley E. Remer