Michelle Morgan: Marilyn tale inspired my daughter

Marilyn Monroe provided inspiration for Michelle's daughter in her school play
Marilyn Monroe provided inspiration for Michelle's daughter in her school play

We went to our daughter’s Christmas production recently, and it was very good.

She was playing a dwarf with only one word to say – October.

She had no trouble learning it, but she did have a problem with the fact that it was only one word.

“How is anyone going to remember me with just that one, tiny word?” she complained.

“Well, I know I’ll certainly remember it,” I said, but she wasn’t too convinced.

Because I wrote a Marilyn Monroe biography, I have several friends who were also friends with Marilyn herself.

One of those gentlemen I write to every day, and I mentioned the one word dilemma to him.

He wrote back with a story about Marilyn when she was 22; not famous yet and in a play with a local theatre group.

Apparently she only had one line to say and – like my daughter – was a bit at a loss as to how anyone would remember her.

Finally Marilyn decided that she would have to make sure the audience noticed her, and played her one line with such flair it made sure everyone was checking her name in their programmes.

I told this story to my daughter and she looked very interested in what Marilyn had done.

On the night of the play, along came her turn and instead of just muttering the word “October”, she pulled herself up to her full height and declared, “I’m... October!”

When we got home afterwards, my daughter asked me if I’d noticed that she’d added the extra word.

I said I did and she looked very pleased with herself.

“I thought it went very well,” she said.

“Plus, since I have a cold, it made my voice go all croaky, which I think really added to the character of October, the crying dwarf.”

I’m sure she’s right, and at the risk of sounding like a showbiz mum, I’ve already cleared a space for her future Academy Award...