The Velveteen Rabbit on Becoming Real
The Velveteen Rabbit on Becoming Real
“I am Real!” screamed Hillary Clinton in frustration, throwing her hands in the air from my TV screen.
What does it mean to be Real?
The Velveteen Rabbit, a classic children’s book, a present from my son inscribed, “To my Mother from your loving son, Michael. “ He capitalized the word Mother. I was a capital in his eyes as he was in mine. After much love and suffering, we became Real to each other.
I pulled The Velveteen Rabbit off the shelf of my library.The Rabbit knew what it meant to become Real, I would try to learn how too.
I discovered Meryl Streep reading aloud, The Velveteen Rabbit on YouTube while researching how to put together an audio version of The Philosopher’s Daughter, a memoir. Her words sang with magnetism. To have my memoir presented in such a way would mean my work would get attention and I would become Real myself.
I sent word to Cher via her agent. She’d been a private student in the 80’s, and had that deep smoky voice perfect for reading the narrative… Plus being a star she could gain attention. I sent her a signed copy, hoping to entice her.
I used to wait for her at Dupree’s Dance Studio in Hollywood practicing my steps in front of the mirror; she’d sashay in and off we’d glide. She followed my movements comfortably. Breathtakingly beautiful, we’d watched each other in the basement studio where she copied my moves, I’d interpreted from Soul Train. She mentioned that the amount of white below the pupil in my eye previewed how important I’d be one day. I’d been showcasing the Knockers, wanting them to become known throughout the world. I wanted the Knockers to become Real.
Cher’s driver drove us in her black limo to Magic Mountain to see her then boyfriend, Gene Simmons performing with Kiss. He wasn’t Real, he had a painted white face and a long red tongue he flicked at his fans.
Being a funky street dancer, I was known in those days as The God Mother of Soul after my idol, James Brown. I worked with Clayton Rohner the star of the film, It’s My Turn, teaching him James’s movements. Unfortunately the scene was cut due to the absorbent fee James demanded for the use of his music. But he was Real, as Real as can be.
Jennifer and James
It took a long time for the LA Knockers to become Real.
We had years of Anxiety and Fear…. painted faces and false eyelashes…. when suddenly
“… a blossom opened, and out of it stepped a fairy.
She was quite the loveliest fairy in the whole world. Her dress was of pearl and dewdrops, and there were flowers round her neck and in her hair, and her face was like the most perfect flower of all. And she came close to the little Rabbit and gathered him in her arms and kissed him on his velveteen nose that was all damp from crying.
‘Little Rabbit,” she said, ‘don’t you know who I am?’
The Rabbit looked up at her, and it seemed to him that he had seen her face before, but he couldn’t think where.
‘I am the nursery magic Fairy,’ she said. ‘I take care of all the people and playthings that the children have loved. When they are old and worn out and the children don’t need them any more, then I come and take them away with me and turn them into Real.’
‘Wasn’t I Real before?’ asked the little Rabbit.
‘You were Real to the Boy,’ the Fairy said, ‘because he loved you. Now you will be Real to everyone.’”
When the LA Knockers performed and were loved, they became Real. But it takes being tossed about, ignored and feeling unloved which happens to us all every once in a while. But not until the Velveteen Rabbit’s silken whiskers were wet with tears and almost rubbed off did he become Real.
The Knockers danced through love and loss, fell down and got up again. It takes loosing someone and being left in a heap, and thrown out a window, that’s when we came close to becoming Real. When things got tough we became Real. When Hilary Clinton becomes Real she will be a contender. Today Bernie Sanders with his white hair flying like Einstein is Real, as Real as can be! But Hillary still has a chance to stay in the running. Truth wins out… truth is becoming Real.