I’ve been reading Ellen’s 2011 book, ‘Seriously…I’m Kidding,’ and found out we have a bunch in common:
1) We both have E’s in our names. I have one in my middle name (Malaea) and she has a whopping eight (Ellen Lee Degeneres is a show-off), which means nothing except her parents loved her seven times more than mine loved me.
2) We’re both funny-ish half-ladies, or maybe we’re unfunny-ish non-men. I’m a twiggy-John Goodman/half-classy Roseanne (depending on my outfit), and Ellen is equal parts Oprah Winfrey and hunky Anderson Cooper, but the main point is, Ellen and I are the exact same person.
3) We’ve both been supermodels, she of the Cover Girl kind and I of the ‘selfies on Facebook’ variety. Also, I did some modeling in high school (said nonchalantly).
No biggie, I was just asked to sit for artistic portraits by Tyrion Lannister (not his real name) for a high school photography project. It was 1991. Fame and fortune danced before my eyes as he leaned in to give me the details.
“I can’t, like, pay you or anything?” he lisped. “But you can have, like, copies of the photos for whatever.”
In the grand scheme of high school politics, Tyrion was near the bottom of the totem pole – short, nice enough, a little weird – but I didn’t really care. Here was my ticket to The Awesome Life.
I imagined billboards, bus advertisements, tote bags, paparazzi, and guest starring on my favorite show, Friends, only to be offered a regular role as a kind-of female Chandler Bing. (I decline so I can instead star as Fox Mulder’s love interest on The X-Files.)
“That’s okay,” I said, writing an Oscar speech in my head. I thank my best friend, Bridget Fonda, husband Kyle McLachlan, and mentor Gillian Anderson for believing in me.
“In conclusion, I owe everything to the humble-yet-flawless high school photos that started this journey into perfection, and the boy behind the lens. To Tyrion Lannister (not his real name). Wherever you are… thank you.”
During my Oscar speech, people laugh and weep and throw thousands of roses on stage like I’m some kind of prima ballerina assoluta, the Anna Pavlova of nineties showbiz that they’ve all been waiting for. I’m so good at writing and delivering fake speeches in my 14-year old head that the entire world gives me a standing ovation.