BOOK REVIEW: Here’s the Story by Maureen McCormick

Posted on November 7, 2013

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Here’s the Story; Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice

Maureen McCormick

HarperCollins

2008

I recall once seeing actor Michael Douglas being publicly interviewed before a Q&A session with the audience. And one of the questions was ‘do you still believe greed is good.’ With a patient smile, Douglas politely explained that he had just been acting a part (Gordon Gekko in Wall Street).

So it is that we all too easily associate an actor or other public figure with the role we associate with them. For actors that can mean typecasting problems among other things. With the seemingly endless rerunning of The Brady Bunch, to many people Maureen McCormick is the perpetually teenaged Marcia Brady despite us all knowing that this was an actor playing a role, not a biography. Instead this book is the biography, giving us the greater view of reality.

Perhaps not surprising, like plenty of ‘child stars’ before her, post-Brady Bunch McCormick had problems. Plenty of them. She ended up with a bad cocaine addiction (is there such a thing as a good cocaine addiction? Probably not). Even some of her fellow addicts nicknamed her Vacuum for her ability to snort up a lot more coke than the rest of them. And then there were the pills. Similarly it was not surprising to read of a less-than functional family, despite her obvious love for her mother. Quite possibly to the distress of an entire generation of young males, McCormick, after getting the drug problem sorted, settled down and eventually married. And, in what seems surprising for the entertainment industry, this was long-term. I suspect without that steadying influence, Maureen McCormick would have eventually ended up just another has-been OD.

This could have easily been a real warts and all muck-raker of a book. While McCormick freely admits to the extent of her drug problem and other personal demons, she avoids getting right down there in the gutter despite a possible temptation to do so.

Like any good bio, there are highs and amusement along with the misery memoir aspects. I laughed out loud at the reminiscing of a cast member who preferred to walk around the change room naked and farting a lot. Similarly there was the well-known scene where a carelessly thrown football hits Marcia in the face, the swollen nose make a disaster of plans for a high school dance. Oh, the drama! But to shoot that particular shot we’ve all seen so often with football making contact with the McCormick schnozzle, was only realised after all the cast and most of the crew took turns at throwing the foam pretend football at her. Again. And again. And again. And again. Gotta be able to see the funny side of that.

For me, the most rewarding thing was seeing how McCormick managed to reach that point where she has finally been able to put Marcia Brady where she belongs – an important part of her past but definitely in her past and even more definitely not the person, Maureen McCormick.

An interesting and at times heart-warming read.

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Posted in: Review