Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Confessions of a Childhood Actress Part 1

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In case you are a newbie to the blog let me give you this brief overview before you read my first Hollywood post:
Don't feel bad if you don't remember me from Lassie, never heard of the show, or have no idea who I am. Most people don't. I was never some big, famous child star, but here's my story . . .
Started doing commercials and print work in the San Francisco when I was nine years old. After a few years of that I got an agent in L.A. and commuted down there for auditions. Landed the role of Megan on The New Lassie when I was 14 years old. Moved down to Hollywood and lived with friends of the family while we filmed 2 seasons (48 episodes) of the show. Featured in over 20 commercials and guest starred on The Wonder Years and Growing Pains. Was on Circus of the Stars - flipped around on the Russian Swing. Had a great experience. Have fond memories that I will be sharing with you. Made some great friends. Didn't party with my mom or do drugs. No criminal record . . . read on.
One of my friends suggested that my whole "used be a childhood actress thing" might be interesting to people and that I should write about it on the blog. Okay. I'm easy.
It doesn't really fit with the whole "Tales from the Motherhood" thing, but I guess I am the mom so I get to decide what to do with this blog, right?
These are Tales of the Pre-Motherhood . . . back when I was Wendy Cox.

When I was a kid, I used to stand in front of the television watching Fame and would try and dance like them. Do you remember when they danced around the fountain? Loved that part. I had a subscription to Teenbeat magazine (admit it, you did too) and was obsessed with "The Ricker." I wrote him a fan letter confessing my love to him and got a letter and signed picture back from him. I am sure it was totally personal and legit (it was NOT a rubber stamp) and I am positive he wanted to marry me. Chachi (Scott Baio) was also one of my first true loves. Total husband material. But then came Kirk Cameron. Oh did I love him. I was sure I was going to marry him. After all, he was a Christian and he was only four years and four months older than me. I even showed up at his house once with a love letter and friendship bracelet, but that is a classic story I will save for a later post.

Anyway, I dreamed of being on a TV show and riding off into the sunset with Kirk. One day I decided enough was enough. I needed to put the wheels in motion. I told my Mom that I wanted to pursue acting for the umpteenth time. She was on her way out the door when she responded, "Go ahead. Make some calls to an agent or something if you want to be on TV."

I took her seriously and went directly to the yellow pages. I am not sure what searched under, but somehow I came across Dorie International Modeling Agency. With my skinny long legs and striking features, I figured I'd give her a call. No one answered so I left a message on their answering machine. They were impressed to receive a message from a nine-year-old. They called back the next day. My Mom was a bit surprised when she received the call. "Your daughter called and left us a message. Said she wants to be on television." Next thing you know we had an appointment at the agency and I was signing on the dotted line.

I began embarking on "go sees" (that is what they call auditions for print work) and auditions for commercials.
Within a few months I landed my first national commerical for the National Milk Advisory board. The "Milk it Does a Body Good" campaign. I was in four scenes: drinking milk from a straw, petting a cat, rocking out on a guitar and tap dancing in a milk carton. I actually found it on You Tube if you want to check it out. You might just remember it from your Saturday morning toon time.
That's all for this week folks, but here's a teaser for future posts -
I did end up working with both Kirk Cameron and Scott Baio. But I did not marry either one of them. I know, I know. Total shocker.

And had I accepted their numerous marriage proposals I would not have gotten this . . .

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Anonymous said...

Jordis is soo cute! So, that was you on the milk commercial? That is totally awesome! What a fiesty, go getter at the age of nine! I think I was playing with my cabbage patch kids with my best friend at that time. :)

Michelle Schrock said...

I remember that milk commercial. I had no idea that was you, that is too funny. I was a big Wendy Joan Cox fan back in the day. I watched all of the Lassie episodes and other stuff too. I was really proud to be your friend. I still remember going to your birthday party with all your cool TV friends. Me being a lowly non-personality and all it was super cool. Even have my own glossy autographed photo of you and Lassie…signed for real…by Lassie! j/k

Dawn said...

This is priceless - I love it. How did I not know this. Keep the stories coming!!!

Christina said...

Wendy, I love it!!

Two things I must mention...I'm friends from high school (and now on Facebook) with two of Kirk's sisters, Candace and Melissa, so I will definitely direct them to your blog; and second, we'll have to trade Scott Baio stories, since he directed several episodes of our show.

Definitely can't wait for Parts 2, et seq. of your Confessions. :)

Wendy, Totally Desperate Mom said...

Please email any fabulous pics you may have of us back in the day. And you might not want to direct Candace and Melissa to the blog because they will be really bummed. Really bummed at the sister-in-law they never had. Me.

Annett/ Fit Moms Fit Kids Club said...

I TOTALLY remember that commercial! Awesome! It was crazy... Love your stories...keep them coming.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

I never watched Lassie but did watch Growing Pains and The Wonder Years. I was in love with Kirk too. Who wasnt!

Jon Longue said...

i want to have sex with you