True Blue: My First Talent Show (6th 1st)
I think the elementary school talent show started out as an idea in our classroom's suggestion box. Our teacher, who was in her early 20s, was pretty much the coolest adult I'd ever met. We were her first teaching job and she treated us like real people. For our school play, in which I played the role of the Forget-Me-Not Lady, she gave me one of her old prom gowns to wear. (I later wore it to a Halloween party and ruined it during the egg toss.) She once invited our whole class to her house for a cook-out. She lived just a few blocks from me, and didn't seem to mind if my best friend and I stopped by on the weekends or during the summer, even after we'd graduated from elementary school.
For the talent show, my best friend and I decided that we'd do a dance routine, set to Madonna's song, True Blue. We went to Claire's Accessories and bought one pair of electric-blue lace gloves, one glove for each of us. I can't picture the rest of our outfits, but I'm sure they matched and suspect they involved leggings.
I'd been tap dancing since the age of 4, but we decided to do a jazz/contemporary routine because it seemed more appropriate to our stature as cool fifth graders who ruled the school. We choreographed the whole song, pantomiming lines like "Your heart fits me like a glove," and "No-whoa more sadness, I kiss it goodbye!" and stealing bits of a routine that I saw in a jazz class at my dance studio. There may also have been some lip-syncing involved.
What happened next is foggy (as these things often are). I seem to recall that each student could only be in one act. And some adult in my life, not understanding the current popularity of lip-syncing, dance routines, may have mentioned that perhaps I'd have more success in the talent show by playing a song with my band friends. (More success? How do you define success in a school talent show? Were their prizes? Maybe a free book or a pack of pencils?) This is where it gets cloudy, because my best friend was also in the band. But I think I abandoned her. And somehow or other, a group of us budding band geeks formed our own mini-band for the talent show.
We held rehearsals at each other's houses, which I'm sure our parents just loved. When it was my turn to host practice, we moved the dining room table off to the side to create a studio space. I had my flute, Brian was there with his saxophone, and Tawnya had her trumpet. When our drummer showed up for practice, he forgot to bring his snare drum with him. I think my dad gave him a bucket and some spoons to use instead. Despite this, we were a well-oiled band machine.
Looking back, I can't remember what song we played, if we won a prize, or even what my best friend said when I backed out on our act. But I remember wishing I was up there with her as she twirled around to the hottest Pop music of our time. I even remember some of those sweet dance moves. Most of all, I remember this when I weigh two options or consider two paths: It's better to be true blue to your heart than to seek out the approval of others, even when they mean well or sound sensible.