I caught up with Clare at Starbucks. She was on her way home from a rehearsal for “The Taming Of The Shrew”. She’s playing the part of Katharina.
Yvonne: So you’re an actor now. What’s that like?
Clare: Well, I only discovered that I could act recently when I got the Lady Macbeth part in the school play and now I pretty much want to act all the time. The Katharina part is a challenge but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Before acting I was pretty quiet, I sort of felt like I didn’t know myself very well and now, because I play different people, I finally feel like I know who I really am. It’s invigorating to play other people. I love it.
Yvonne: You think you’ll be an actor as a career?
Clare: Yes, definitely.
Yvonne: It’s pretty unusual isn’t it, to know at thirteen what you’d like to do with the rest of your life?
Clare: What can I say? When you know, you know.
Yvonne: The last time we spoke you were thinking about taking up Tae Kwon Do. Did you do it?
Clare: Yeah, I joined my neighborhood dojang. It’s a pretty intense discipline for someone like me. I have two left feet. Joshua inspires me to stick with it though. My kicks are definitely improving.
Yvonne: Aaah, Joshua. How’s he doing? Is he still away at school?
Clare: Sadly, yes. He E-mailed me a photo of himself standing on a giant rock today. I kissed the screen. I can’t believe how much I love that guy. We’ll probably get married soon and have a swarm of geeky kids.
Clare: (Snorts) Yeah, right. I’m thirteen.
Yvonne: What about Aunt Rusty? You see much of her these days?
Clare: Sure. She was dead to me for a while back when she was dating my gym teacher, Mr. Bianchini, but then she dumped him so we’re all cool now.
Yvonne: Does she still paint Death and Dying?
Clare: Yup, and murder. Some Rock Star bought one of her paintings and then he told two rock stars and they told two rock stars and you know how that goes so now we can afford to get Indian Food and go to movies when we get together. Plus she can pay the rent.
Yvonne: Are you still babysitting Patience?
Clare: Sometimes, but I have to be pretty desperate for cash.
Yvonne: And your mom? Did she go back to being a lawyer?
Clare: Are you kidding? She’s re-invented the housewife. She bakes banana bread once a week and the rest of the time she goofs off with her friends.
Yvonne: So, tell me, who’s your BFF these days?
Clare: Allison, she’s the best.
Yvonne: What about Elsa?
Clare: Elsa is still in my life. She got me where I am now, she got me to try acting, I’ll always be grateful to her for that but even Elsa thinks we’re getting too old for this now. I mean, I’m almost fourteen. Who has an imaginary friend at fourteen?
Yvonne: Didn’t you say that when you were almost thirteen?
Clare: (laughs) I guess I did, didn’t I?
Yvonne: Do you have any advice for anyone who might be hanging onto an imaginary friend?
Clare: Yeah, don’t let go till you’re ready and you’ll know when that is.