Here’s Kari Goetz – number two in our series. Kari is the fearless flying squirrel of a director. She apparently didn’t suffer enough at the hands of the playwrights and cast the first time and now she’s back for seconds. Only two days into rehearsal, she’s already coined a nifty phrase of “coming up with the actor equivalent of putting peanut butter in a Kong.” Let’s take a look at this little cutie.
How old were you when that photo was taken, where was it at, who were you with and why were you there?
I would say it was some time in 1978, I was no more than 3 years old. I was at Jungle Larry’s in Naples, FL and I was with my mom and dad. I’m sure it was “educational Saturday” or some other such expedition.
Did the kitty freak you out? Do you remember holding it, etc?
I loved kittens and cats and desperately wanted one. However, my mom was allergic, so my cat dreams were dashed. I totally do remember holding this cougar because it was the BEST KITTY EVER. I wasn’t the slightest bit afraid and I remember I was very upset to give the BEST KITTY EVER back.
Did you have a choice of animals, or was it just the cat? Just curious …
It was just the cat – all other dangerous carnivores were busy visiting a nursing home.
What do you think the kitty is thinking in that picture?
“Someday I hope I can take all of my captive aggression out on a crazy German in Vegas.” Or “Why is this little boy in a dress?” Blame my mother – she was a feminist and I didn’t have long hair until she stopped dictating my haircuts at 13.
Do you a “best memory” of that day, apart from the picture?
I remember the water fountains were shaped like huge lion heads – so to get a drink you had to stick your head in the lion’s mouth.
We had asbestos in our schools, lead in our paints, jarts in our yards and live predators in our laps for photo ops – do you think we might be the last great generation? Tough enough to see this world survive? Just blindly lucky?
JARTS RULED YOUR MOM!!! Man, I grew up spending summers on my grandfather’s farm – I did all sorts of stupid stuff – that probably involved asbestos, lead and whatever pesticide we used on the crops…
Kids have their own set of dangers today they’re all gonna get brain tumors from their cell phones frying their little developing noggins, they’ll suffer hearing loss from their iPods and carpel tunnel from texting all the time – so whatever. I don’t know which generation will be the last to see the world survive – but I just spent a few hours with 12 and 13 year old girls and heard them talking about getting tattoos and how their butt looked fat in their jeans and when they were going to get their acrylic nails filled – so yeah, we’re screwed – the end is near.
Think back to roughly the time that photo was taken – did you have a grand aspiration of what you wanted to be when you grew up?
Oh I totally remember! I wanted to be a tap-dancing secretary.
How far did you ever get with that dream, and why did you eventually give it up?
When I look at my current job – sometimes I think I might be right on the money with that “dream.”
What do you miss most about childhood?
Oh man – lots of stuff. Climbing trees at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on a Wednesday. Swimming until the chlorine burned my eyes and created halos around everything. Spending endless hours stuck in a book. On a nerd side – I also miss the really cool projects you had to do for school. Man, if only I could demonstrate my marketing acumen in a diorama – that would rock!
What have you retained as part of your identity or philosophy on life etc from childhood?
I still climb trees and I can still spend endless hours in a book – I just have fewer chances to do so. I think I still can be “amazed” pretty easily. I am still a strong believer in magic and I still feel comforted by hot chocolate.
Who was your best friend around the time of that photo?
That would be Lee Waterman. She lived in a two story house (the rest of us lived in “Ranch Style” hell). Playing slinkys rocked at her house. Also, she had a great dane named “Moses” and he was a bad ass.
Did you have a favorite toy? What was it?
My stuffed polar bear Anchorage – that was 100% my favorite. Anchorage now sits on the rocking chair in my bedroom.
What was your favorite “make believe” game?
I would have to say whatever my imaginary friend Linda and I could come up with. I was very close to Linda and we used to play all sorts of games. I was a big fan of tea party. House was a good game. I also liked playing dress up – that was pretty fun as well.
If you could tell yourself at the age of that photo one thing as the age you are now – what would it be?
Seriously kid, stop sucking your thumb – you’re gonna get this orthodontic torture device called a “bionater” and the term “social pariah” will be yours for at least three years. Oh and live it up now, because your days as an only child are numbered.
(Normally I’d have used a headshot here, but this is my favorite Kari-as-director picture)