Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Friday, April 25, 2014

V is for VON TRAPP

Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

Yes, that's me, second in line from the right.

Louisa Von Trapp, at your service. My brother, Rick, is next to me as Frederich. 

My freshman year of high school, I was on the road in a touring company of SOUND OF MUSIC that originated at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Los Angeles Music Center.

We almost went to Broadway, but the sets were too big. Seriously, that's what buzzkilled Broadway for us. The cost of rebuilding or cutting them down prevented us from hitting the Great White Way.

It was a magical time. The company was truly a family. Bob Wright, who played Captain Von Trapp, would help me study for tests at intermission. The nuns taught me how to put on make-up. One of the Nazi's was my Spanish tutor. 

Every night on stage, we went back in time and lived those moments of the story over and over. It never got old. It was one of the richest and most wonderful experiences of my life.

Werner Klemperer, Colonel Klink, from the television show, HOGAN'S HEROES was our Uncle Max. Patricia Morrison from the classic film KISS ME KATE was Elsa, the baroness booted by Maria. 

Constance Towers replaced Sally Ann Howes as Maria after the show left Los Angeles.

When the Music Center show ended its run. A handful of us were cast in SOUND OF MUSIC in Las Vegas at the Union Plaza Hotel, before downtown was a dive.

This is my brother Rick and I rocking our "curtain costumes."

In Vegas they cut the show down to an hour and a half with no intermission. We did two shows a night.

I understudied Liesl Von Trapp (Sixteen Going on Seventeen) and was fortunate enough to play the role for a stretch. My first kiss EVER was onstage during that song. Does it count when you are both wearing lip gloss?

Look who played Rolf - my first kiss: 

William Katt in his pre-hero days. 
A girl could do a lot worse!

It was a very trippy life for a teen. People waiting for your autograph at the stage door. Doing interviews. Performing at events related to the show. All we Von Trapp kids were pros. We did our jobs and followed the rules. School was three hours a day with a studio teacher and we all maintained decent grades.

It's a shame you hear such tragic stories about child actors. I learned about life, responsibility, and nurturing your creative soul that year. 

I WOULD wish it on any kid.

Fame, in any size package, can be a learning opportunity if you appreciate its gifts and stay grounded.

Any other child actors out there?


  1. I never fully watched The Sound of Music. It's one of those classics that's on my list, but I somehow always miss it.

  2. Wait wait wait...You're telling me you're a semi-famous actor and I didn't know??? (I think I just failed the test.)

  3. That is SO cool. I had no idea I was friends with a theatre celebrity :)

  4. Knowing my family, it would be impossible to go through life without knowing about this family. :)

  5. What a great experience! I love that play and I'll bet you and your brother were hits!

    Yes. I acted in college and after. It was so much fun.

  6. I never got to see this live, but I've loved the Sound of Music for a long time. The music makes me smile every time I hear it. I think it would have been a fascinating thing to be in the musical itself.

  7. Congratulations! What an accomplishment. Bummer you didn't get to go to Broadway.

  8. Wow, serious congratulations!!! What an amazing thing to have done. You real my WERE close to Broadway. So frustrating about the sets!

  9. How awesome! I'm bowing down. You got to kiss The Greatest American Hero. I always thought he was so cute when I was a kid. That was my sister's favorite show...I think he may have been her first crush...not sure. Still as much as you've accomplished, it has to still be a cool story to tell people your first kiss was The Greatest American Hero!

  10. Amazingly cool! I loved both of the shows. Sound of Music taught me to sing...literally! The Greatest American Hero a classic.

    I didn't do anything professional until I was out of school, I did some theater. I was in a show called The Deaf Duckling did a short stint in Minnesota. It was a lot of work, I can't imagine doing it as a kid, even though I would have if I'd had the opportunity.

    Gloss or no gloss that kiss counts! Yes, you could have done much worse, believe me.

  11. What a marvelous post! Your parents must have been supportive, and you must have gotten amazing life experiences. I think child actors go wrong when they're "stars." It must be surreal to have tons of complete strangers "love" them. It must give them a skewed view of reality. Great story - thanks for sharing! :)

  12. What an amazing experience!! Too bad about the size of those sets - but so many wonderful memories and take aways. :) One of my favourites movies/plays too :)

  13. Leslie, you played Louisa in The Sound Of Music?!!!!! AWESOME!!!! And you got to sing all those wonderful songs.... *sigh*
    (I squinted at the programme to check the cast list for your name...)

  14. I enjoyed the Sound of Music. Caught a rerun on the telly a few weeks ago. By the sound of it you and your brother didn't get distracted by the lime light.

  15. I'm way more jealous that you got to work with the great Werner Klemperer than William Katt, even though I'm a huge Greatest American Hero fan.

    Did you ask Mr. Klemperer to wave his fist and say "Lesssssliiieeeeee!" :D

  16. Me. I'm a child actor... though I'm 44, I'm still a child, as you can see by our blogs.

    You're a writer? Crool shoes. Me, too (kinda, sorta). I know for a fact, however, you gotta whole lotta intelligence behind those two ears, girl; thus, I wanna give you my finite existence: to intrinsically value the Great Beyond which I’ve learned to appreciate, to visualize the fundamental reality of infinity is why I‘m here for a teeny-weeny amount of time. Looky here...

    Precisely why I had our ‘philanthropic + epiphany’ (=so much to give + vision): wanna see a perfectly cognizant, fully-spectacular, Son-ripened-Heaven?? … yet, I’m not sure if we're on the same page if you saw what I saw. Greetings, earthling. Because I was an actual NDE on the outskirts of the Great Beyond at 15 yet wasn’t allowed in, lemme share with you what I actually know Seventh-Heaven’s Big-Bang’s gonna be like: meet this advanced, bombastic, ex-mortal Upstairs for the most juvenile-lip-service, extra-groovy, secret-sauce-paradox, pleasure-beyond-measure, Ultra-Yummy-Reality-Addiction in the Great Beyond for a BIG-ol, kick-some-ass, party-hardy, robust-N-risqué-passion you DO NOT wanna miss the sink-your-teeth-in-the-smmmokin’-hot-deal enveloping, engulfing our catch-22-excitotoxins. Cya soon, girl…