My Mother Tried to Make a Media Whore Out of Me, Too



Regular readers of my main blog will know from looking into my personal history that, for years, I couldn't even type the word "mother," so strong was my aversion to discussing or acknowledging how mother had created many of my personal problems.

I can get by now. I sometimes have to have Peej type the word for me and then put a piece of tape over the part of the screen on the computer where the word "mother" appears. It sort of works, I guess.

Apparently, there are a lot of mothers out there who are "controversial" because they use the media to enhance their fame. Watching this triggered a terrible, terrible flashback:

[sadly, it was taken down. Trust me, it was vile]

I would say that, had Mother had me during these times, I would most likely be on the cover of People  Magazine or some such publication, with my curly blonde hair tied up with ribbons and my sailor suit looking dapper. I was always a frisky boy, you see, and getting me to sit still took a lot of doing. Mother would do this because she was convinced that I needed to be a big star in order to help her realize her unfulfilled show business goals.

Now, it is true that, for a brief period of time, mother tried to capitalize on the aging of Shirley Temple and her subsequent inability to pull off roles for young girls. By 1948, Shirley Temple was twenty and I was a four year-old triple threat. Mother had given me dance, singing and acting lessons by then and was routinely submitting me for acting roles and musical roles in Hollywood and in New York. She did put me in costumes, otherwise known as dresses, and she changed my stage name to Noreen Rogers. I was henceforth known as a singing and dancing sensation, "Litttle Noreen," and I was expected to perform in clubs when I was not on stage. I say this by way of disclosure, due to the fact that some wag will always dig these things up.

My hair actually looked a bit like what you see on the lovely Lady GaGa above. I think she's beautiful.

Unfortunately, I never quite made the breakthrough into A-list show business. I wouldn't work with anyone who wasn't a Republican. I refused to go to tutors or to do my schoolwork. I couldn't pass the physicals, where they checked you to make sure you were the gender indicated on the forms. I couldn't make my act work in loud nightclubs, as I tended to create my own feedback by singing into the wrong end of the microphone because of the catcalls of the drunks. I was able to get into a few films and a few musicals, but I was always relegated to the wings or to the larger group numbers because of my inability to match the timing of the star of the show. It wasn't all bad--I could order around servants, which was my favorite pastime, and I could eat whatever I wanted because they would give me diet pills to keep my motor running.

I gained valuable experience, which helped me later in life when I started making my own music and when I appeared in a few soap operas. Mother's bitter disappointment was always like candy to me, something I could enjoy watching.