“Arrrh mateys. This is the pirate king, sharing a picture of my pirate princess and new baby! Arrren’t we cute?”
This picture was not actually taken on Halloween. It was taken on Monday after I finished playing the role of Captain Willey Walkalot at my children’s elementary school. Let me explain. Our school’s PTA leaders happen to be in my ward, and they are trying to get our school to be a “Gold Medal School” by encouraging the children to exercise and walk a certain number of miles during the school year. This year’s goal is over 15,000 miles walked collectively by the children. The PTA leaders really wanted to kick off the program with a pirate-themed assembly in which Captain Willey Walkalot encouraged the kids to walk their miles. I guess I have a reputation of being a bit of “ham” (imagine that) and so they asked me to be the pirate captain in search of a new first mate.
A kid-teacher team from each grade was selected to compete in seven pirate tasks and the winning student got the honor of being my first mate. Then all the kids were recruited into my crew (they were each given an eye-patch) as we sail in search of buried treasure, which according to my script, is actually the treasure of health and fitness. 🙂 Anyway, as you can imagine, I had a blast performing in the assembly on Monday afternoon.
I didn’t tell my children about it, so they were surprised. My costume, makeup and character were so convincing that Brianna didn’t know it was me at first. When I said hello to her in the crowd, she looked kind of nervous and confused. I guess I would have reacted that way too if some strange guy with eyeliner was yelling “Arrrh” to me in a gravely voice with a pirate accent.
Incidentally, I based my character’s voice off of the Sea Captain from The Simpsons. However, when I made my initial entrance into the school assembly, a country-western twang escaped my lips, and I had trouble reigning it in. Nervous actors sometimes mix up their accents. Oh well, I’m sure no one noticed or cared, although it’s possible that some talent scout was in the audience and would have recruited me to be in the next “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel if I had maintained the proper acccent. You never know!