An excerpt from YOUNG GIRLS WANTED. First appeared in The 2014 Papercut Press Annual.
I know this girl who developed early. She had breasts before everyone else. She towered above everyone else. She craved to be touched. Her classmates did not make life easy.
She retreated to her room at night, where the most famous actors of the day caressed her skin. They worshipped every inch, every contour. The decapitated barbie dolls witnessed everything.
She kept a shoebox filled with magazine cutouts: the world’s most beautiful women. She noticed their expressions were detached, emotionless. It made sense, therefore, to begin hiding her identity. Day by day, she swallowed her childlike symptoms. She learned tricks from the movies. She behaved as if there were a camera following her. She rouged her cheeks, she shadowed her eyes, she spread and fortified her lashes until they resembled the limbs of some jumper as she’s plummeting toward the concrete.
She arrived at school to general dismay, but the shocked expressions didn’t phase her. From that point on, she played the part.
Young Girls Wanted is less theater show, more indie rock concert, featuring scenes, songs, and movement sequences in the midst of a Standing Room Only crowd. An all-female ensemble unites with a live band to portray the pivotal moments in the lives of five young women, whose triumphs and pitfalls take them from the fringes of the suburbs to the heart of the city. Their identities are ever-shifting. All they have is shared experience. All they know is the headlong path to adulthood, without necessarily growing up.