All my short life

I suppose you've read the stories of some child stars who say, "I know my life sounds glamorous, but really I live a boringly normal life."

You've probably heard them say, "I don't really have a stage mom, she just put me in an agency because I nagged and nagged her to/ the money was tight and her best friend said I should do modelling to earn some/ just to see what would happen."

Maybe that's true for them (I doubt it). I'm just going to use this as an opportunity to tell my story as a child star.

Maybe you know about me. My name is Posy Claster. I guess my life does sound glamorous, whatever that is. Glamour is just a thing that can be watched from afar, not lived. Living it you find it's just hard work like anything else. But I wouldn't say my life was boringly normal. Of course it feels normal to me (what else do I have to compare it with?), but I know it is quite different from everyone else's.

You see, the few memories I have from before being famous are pretty much what led up to me being famous. It isn't annoying, it isn't something to be proud of, and it certainly isn't glamorous or, even worse, boring. It's just my life.

I admit I'll have to add my mother to the list of "I don't really have a stage mom"s. She was passionately opposed to me being anything faintly resembling a little stage darling. From the start, she dressed me in overalls and lace-up shoes. Any innocent bystander might think there was a restraining order against me and dresses and black patent mary-janes! I was refused ribbons or two braided pigtails in my hair.

But I guess you can't help the skin you're in and in my case I grew to become the epitome of girlishness quite out of the control of me or my mother or anybody. I was so very blonde it was almost white and my hair waved undecidedly around my head. According to press releases, I had "cherry-like cheeks and vibrant, endearing eyes". Even with all this I didn't have any, "your daughter is sooo cute, you should put her in baby shows" rubbish.

It all came of my own accord. When I was three, I got the idea into my head that I wanted lessons in acting and singing and dancing and all style of thing. My mother took the "if I don't listen to her nagging, it will go away approach." This usually worked. Except this time it didn't.

She is a very strong-willed woman, my mother, except she gave in this time (happily for me). Once a week she let me go to a "Baby Theatre" class. Forty-five minutes a week and no more was her decision, even though most of the other children in the class attended twice a week, maybe even for an hour's work here and there as well as numerous other engagements. It wasn't at all because the case was that we were short on money.

We lived in a big old house with beautiful d├ęcor. It was a mansion really. There were two expensive cars. My mother and father are really Lord and Lady Blessington, even if to me they were just Mum or Mama and Dad, and to their closest friends Jack and Rhody. When I come of age I will be Lady Blessington, too -how scary! I didn't even find out that we had any titles in our family until I was about eight or nine, they hated to advertise that fact. Anyway, they only got the titles because my father's third cousin is thirteenth in line for the throne, or something unremarkable like that. Even the most tenuous link to royalty like mine was something for publicists to hit goldmine on later.

Back to Baby Theatre. I loved it as much as my mother hated it. Each week she would sit watching me in a room at The Performing Children's School where four large, framed pictures of Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland and Jackie Coogan would smile down from high on the wall. She wasn't the same as all the other mothers there who lived their high hopes through their children's lives. I didn't really fit in with the other girls either, who always came to class in frilly dresses (looking the best in case a talent scout happened to drop by) and t-bar shoes were on their feet although they held proper dancing shoes (which Mama refused to spend money on) in their little bags

Each time we failed to get a line to perfection, memorise a dance step or sing in tune my teacher, Miss Jane DeWinter, would sigh, smile grimly to herself and look upward to the four framed faces, "They are the masters, darlings," she would say, "Dance like Shirley! Have the charm of Mickey! Hear Judy sing! Jackie is looking down on you all, if only you had his timing!" I would glance back at all the "stage moms" who had booked their little sweetheart into an agent and spent forever driving them to meetings and auditions and talent searches (ie. pretty much all save mine) and see them smiling just as Miss DeWinter did. If only their little girl or boy was the next one on such a list of champions! I could see my mother turning away to cringe, and then I could only turn away to hide my embarrassment that this woman, the only one who refused to have anything to do with the lifestyle, was my mother. She didn't mean to discourage me, and never said openly that she thought it was a silly thing to aspire to. In the end none of the other kids in the class got much beyond Junior Princess of Woodenpine Market or The Kid from the Crunchysnacks Box. Meanwhile I became what I became plus I didn't get caught up in all this foolishness which I can now look back and laugh about.

For six months I spent those glorious forty-five minutes of the week learning simple actions and exercises that might or might not be classified as dances, repeating childish songs, poems and monologues and playing imaginative games sitting on the hardwood floor that smelt of rosin.

Have you ever had a desire that you felt was so improbable that it could never come true? And then the best part is that it does, and you wonder if you muttered it aloud one day and some little angel overheard and intervened? I don't know how else my dream could have been realised, all I know is that it did. Next, I will tell you how.