Best Of The Worst - Troll 2
Updated: Jan 24
"Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice."
Many of us want to be the best at what we love to do. We want to be praised and recognized by others in our industry. It makes us feel accomplished when our peers appreciate our work, and we feel valued.
How would you feel if others noticed you like the best?
The catch is that they saw you as being the best of the worst!
We are not perfect, not everything turns to gold. Life is not perfect. There are always ups and downs, smooth waters and rough.
EMBRACE THE GOOD, THE BAD AND UGLY OF LIFE!
In 1995 the internet was beginning to become a fixture in my house. I had put my baby to bed and flipped on the old dial-up to my box-like computer. Awe, the sound of the high pitched ringings as the internet worked long and hard to connect me to the world-wide-web, was music to my ears. I was browsing the world at my fingertips, thinking about how you could find anything here. "I wonder if I'm on the internet, maybe an old yearbook photo or newspaper article?"
I typed Connie Young (my newly married name), nothing.
I tried my maiden name, Connie McFarland.
"Oh my God, there I am! Well, isn't this exciting?" I squealed.
Yep, there I was, alright in all my eighties glory - big curly hair, twiggy 15-year-old body in oversized shorts. This image was taken from the 1990 cult classic movie Troll 2 that I filmed six years prior.
"WORST MOVIE EVER MADE!"
The movie critic summed up the movie in his title.
I read on.
"As bad as they come."
"The actors are all terrible, but can hardly have been expected to do sterling work given the unspeakable lines and tone-deaf direction."
- TV guide
With each brutally painful sentence, I began to sink into a dark, self-loathing state of mind. I had dreamed of becoming an actor since I was a little girl. At 15-years-old, I thought I had finally made it to the big time with my movie debut. I was actually very proud of my work in the movie. I had gone the past five years under the impression that I was a good actor. The question ran over and over in my mind, "I don't understand. It wasn't that bad. How could I be the WORST actor in the WORST movie?"
"Perhaps it was only one critic's opinion. Yeah, that's it. It's only one stupid man's opinion," I thought.
I quickly looked up other reviews, praying for redemption.
"There are movies that are bad. There are movies that are so-bad-they're-good. And then there's Troll 2 -- a movie that's so bad that it defies comprehension."
-Mountain Times Express
"I've seen worse, but nevertheless, this is wretched bottom-of-the-barrel stuff."
" Troll 2, however, is a disaster from start to finish." -Cinafantasique
One review after another shared the same view of my big movie debut; they all despised it!
I was devastated and embarrassed. In addition to my bruised ego, my dream of becoming an actor was crushed. Since I was two-years-old, that is all I wanted to be when I grew up. I could never show my face again on film. I cried, and cried, and swore I would never act again. How could I? I was deemed a horrible actor. I reassured myself that Troll 2 was ONE bad movie in a sea of terrible films. No one will ever see this, and soon it will disappear into the abyss of forgotten movies. I will never speak of the film. I will never google my name again and save myself the humiliation. It will be like it never happened.
Boy, Oh, Boy, was I wrong!
Not only did Troll 2 not sink into the abyss, but it also became MORE popular than would ever guess. This horrible movie made EVERY "Worst Movie" list created. It snowballed into a cult classic for all fans of bad... really bad film. Fans started hosting Troll 2 parties! A few hardcore fans even got a Troll 2 tattoo! Fans were creating art, masks, and selling memorabilia!
Not only did Troll 2 make the "Worst Movie" list but, it stayed at the top of the "Worst Movie" list for 30 YEARS (and counting). As recent as 2019, MSN put it on their TOP 20 WORST MOVIES.
In 2009, the actor who played my little brother in Troll 2, Michael Stephenson, embraced being in the worst film ever made and produced a documentary called Best Worst Movie. When Michael contacted me asking if I would sit down for an interview for his documentary, I was face-to-face with this thing I tried so hard to bury. I concluded that it was no use trying to hide from the part I played in this cult classic movie that wouldn't die.
"What the hell. Why not." I agreed to Micheal's request.
I had to accept my lousy movie to move onto better ones in the future. My love for acting was too strong to refuse. I found the courage to put my self out there again. I took acting classes. I really didn't want a repeat blunder. Thank God my acting got better! I got an acting agent and started auditioning for anything that came my way. Slowly, I started booking local commercials and bit parts in movies. In 2001, I landed a leading role in Singles Ward, a film about single life in the Mormon (LDS) religion. I must have a knack for acting in cult classics. Yep, you guessed it! Singles Ward became a Mormon must-see. At least this cult classic was beloved by all in the LDS religion, and a movie I was proud to put my name on. My acting career continued to develop. I was fortunate to land parts in big-budget TV shows, National Commercials and movies such as Disney's Read It And Weep.
When I read that horrible review, I had a choice. I could have kept my head down, defeated, embarrassed, and ashamed for the rest of my life. I could have hung on to this defeat and chosen never to act again. I could have worn this label that others had given me, and used it as a reason why I could never chase my dreams. But I didn't!
We all have experiences in life that we are laughed at, mocked and teased. We can each recall a time when our worst fear of humiliation came to be a reality. It feels like the only option you have is to bury your head in the sand and hope that the world will forget your mistakes. After being labeled as the worst actor in the WOST all-time movie, my ego suffered a massive blow. It's not like I jumped up the next day and brushed myself off. Nope, it took me years to build up my resilience muscles to feel strong enough to try acting again.
There is not one person alive who has not felt like, loved, or worthy. Each of us has been judged, some of us harsher than others. But we all wear the scars of an emotional battle against the opinions of others. I'm here to tell you that YOU are worth more than a like on Facebook, an A in class, a negative comment on your Instagram, a nasty roomer about you, coming in 1st or last place. YOU are not made up of the positive or negative ideas of others. You are worth much more than a single fail or a big win. You are not summed up by the judgments of others or events.
Don't let these adverse events or labels PREVENT you from going after your dreams. Those events and opinions only affect you if you allow them.
Stand up tall and shout, "I AM WORTHY OF .....!"
To move past my humiliation, I had to learn how to laugh at myself and stop taking myself so damn seriously. We are all human. We all make mistakes, say the wrong thing, and sometimes make fools of ourselves. It is perfectly normal not alway to have our shit together. We are and will always be imperfect. So own your imperfections and laugh at yourself. We are all goofy, awkward, and insecure. It is much easier to let go of negative comments and become offended when we have a sense of humor about ourselves.
Next time you put your foot in your mouth, get a shitty review, blow the perfect date, or read a degrading comment on social media, LAUGH IT OFF!
Life is not rainbows and unicorns. None of us are perfect.
EMBRACE THE GOOD, BAD, AND UGLY.