This post deals with mental illness, disordered eating, substance abuse, self harm, and childhood abuse and might be triggering for some readers.
In 2003, I was in a film called School of Rock. I played a character named Katie. Katie was 10 years old and played bass guitar and had about five lines that mostly consisted of one word each.
I got to meet some of my idols, attend the MTV Movie Awards hosted by America’s sweetheart Lindsay Lohan, and travel the world before I even got my first period. Then, after instantly fading back into obscurity, I fell into the classic child actor pattern. I’ve spent the last 16 years of my life trying to be anything but "that kid from that thing" even though the blunt reality is... no one even cares that much.
Let me preface this by saying that I am absolutely grateful for the experience as a whole. For those who reach out to me expressing the fact that School of Rock inspired them to pick up an instrument.
For the femmes who let me know that their first queer crush was on my character. (Does this make me a queer icon? If so, love that for me.) For all the opportunities that followed.
And especially for my cast mates, who I see as forever family. None of what lies ahead in these next paragraphs will ever diminish these factors.
However, I do have some very complicated feelings about School of Rock, so let’s dive into it, shall we?
From as early as I can remember, my parents told me I was "destined to be famous." My family praised me and gave me all the validation and attention in the world. They spoiled me. They called me perfect and beautiful. They kept a journal of all the adorable and charming things I would do and say. They would encourage me to sing and dance at family functions to entertain my relatives.