Thursday, August 25, 2011

Interviewing the Cast of "Annie"

Do you remember "Annie"? Yeah, if you're a girl who grew up in the '70s and '80s, I'm sure you do. As a generation, we were obsessed, right? I know my best friend and I were. We wrote our own plays based on the original, learned the songs and dances, and collected everything "Annie"-related we could find: dolls, figurines, magazines featuring the cast. One of those magazines got me into journalism (though I admit I didn't realize it at age 13). And if you think about it - since all writing is good practice for more writing - the work I did for newspapers led to the writing I do today.

It was a People magazine with Aileen Quinn's face filling the cover. I remember it well... Maybe because 28 years later, it's residing in my basement. The article featured interviews of the girls who played the orphans, and lucky for us, after each girl was quoted, the magazine listed her hometown city and state. Jackpot! It was 1983. We couldn't use the Internet on our home computers to find what we were after. But we could get the home phone numbers of minor movie stars by simply calling information and consulting the out-of-state phone books in the reference section of the Colonie Town Library.

Back at my house, we wrote out our questions, tested the phone extensions and made our calls. As the phone rang, we'd whisper to each other over the line: "It's ringing!" The way I remember it, I did the talking while my friend handled the tape recorder. After each interview, we'd hang up and scream. "We just talked to Molly! Pepper! Duffy!"And then, we'd replay the tape, analyzing what we'd learned in such detail that I remember the girls' answers even now (yes, I believe they did get to keep some of the costumes).

So those were my first celebrity interviews, back when we were all kids. About 10 years later, I went into journalism for real, writing for newspapers and magazines and interviewing all sorts of people. But there's still one interview I've yet to get.

Can you guess who it is?


  1. I remember that like it was yesterday. Shocking how movie stars' numbers were listed!

    Remember the Aileen Quinn look alike at the Schroon Lake 4th of July parade? I think we even took her photo.

  2. Oh, yeah - I think I still have that picture somewhere! I have EVERYTHING!!

  3. I too remember it well. Your production of Annie that was held in our basement with your parents present and Babci and Paki on our end. All the basement furniture was rearranged and my folding table, used for a stage, still has production cues written on the underside. Those were fun days and summer went by much too quickly that year. ...Sara's Mom