Backstage

Cinderella’s Ross Petty
October 31, 2008

Posted By: Ross Petty aka Bertha Von Botox

Somehow I know it’s coming…that time of year…an innate sense that it’s time to give up my day job. After all these years, it’s almost inbred…like salmon swimming upstream to lay their eggs or swallows flying home to Capistrano.

I know it’s not the cool autumn air stealing through the bedroom window prompting my wife to dig out the duvet, or the Blue Jays again not making the playoffs. I know it has nothing to do with the last Film Festival star sighting at the Bloor Street boites or the first pumpkin on display at Pusateri’s…wait a minute…actually this year, the sight of that pumpkin did trigger my deep-seated need for change.

Walking across Avenue Road, I burst through the doors of Shoppers Drug Mart and a herd of wild horses couldn’t have kept me away from the lipstick display. Not only lipstick but eye shadow, eye brow pencils, blush and mascara…there they were in all their garish glory enticing me to buy. Without batting an eye lash (pun intended), I whipped out my MasterCard and gorged on Max Factor, Revlon and, in a reckless moment, Chanel.

If you think this is a self-destructive expose that will shred my reputation as a businessman, and leave my relationship with my wife hanging by a thread, nothing could be further from the truth. I’m not in the business of self-immolation as practiced earlier this year by U.S. senator John Edwards.
With my somewhat bizarre career dichotomy, the fall season always turns my mind to thoughts of performing in the Fractured Fairy Tale Musicals I’ve been producing at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre for the past thirteen years. Conversely, the spring and summer months revolve around putting the financing together to allow these productions to thrive as an Ontario family tradition.

My pre-production dollars are achieved through strong relationships with my sponsors, and during the early part of every year, meetings with my Presenting Sponsor BMO Financial Group, and Associate Sponsors Tim Hortons and Procter & Gamble’s Mr. Clean, are ongoing. I think that my corporate friends actually relish the fact that come December, they’ll be able to visit the beautiful Elgin Theatre and boo the guy that sat across the boardroom table from them in March. I’m the one actor that really enjoys being jeered by his audience!

This winter’s offering is Cinderella, the Sillylicious Family Musical, featuring the stars of CTV’s Degrassi: the Next Generation and Kids’ CBC. Knowing that title, you’ll be able to understand why the earlier pumpkin sighting incited me to accumulate more make-up than the supply required by the entire cast of Desperate Housewives, and turn a mild-mannered business man by day into Cinderella’s evil stepmother by night.

I hope youll bring your family to see Cinderella during the holidays, and that you’ll remember that the maniacal matriarch abusing everyone on stage as well as in the audience is really just a guy who gave up his day job, but if truth be told, he can’t wait to get the suit back from the cleaners and start making plans for the 2009/10 production.