Saturday, April 10, 2010

Confessions of a Show Choir Wannabe

Last night I had to admit a painful truth to my friend, Amy. I had to confess that I tried out for, but did not make, the show choir when I was in high school.

And to make matters worse, I so desperately wanted to sing and dance and wear pretty costumes that even after one rejection, I tried out again the following year, only to be rejected. Again.

So it was with some painful trepidation and a lot of baggage that I went with Amy to the area "Show Choir Showcase" last night.

Apparently this is a really big event in our community because you need an actual ticket to get in, and if you don't have a ticket you have to sit in "overflow" in the gym and watch the entire two hour long extravaganza on a teeny-tiny little television screen. Who knew?

Certainly not me.

Thank goodness for my friend who graciously offered to give me her husband's ticket so I could go watch Maggie perform. Once again, Amy saved me from coming thisclose to wearing the Worst Mother of the Year crown.

Anyway, the Show Choir Showcase is an annual event highlighting all the district middle school's and high school's show choirs. Honestly, I didn't even know Maggie was in a show choir until last night. I thought her group was the Concert Choir because that's what they call it. Silly me.

Apparently they're grooming her for bigger and better things to come, and this so-called showcase is designed to get little girls' hopes up that they, too, can sing and dance and wear pretty costumes once they get into high school.

Be careful, girls! (Not that I'm bitter or anything.)

The event was actually very fun if you like seeing middle school girls in tight, swirly dresses wearing lots of make-up and middle school boys trying to clumsily dance around on the stage. Come to think of it, it was a blast!

But the highlight of the evening was seeing the high school groups perform, and I really do mean that. They were good. Really good.

One group in particular got my attention with their rendition of a song I had never heard before--something about "Trouts and Bass." Seriously. This was an all-girls group, and after their pretty swirly dress songs they quickly changed costumes into something that Ellie Mae might have worn on "The Beverly Hillbillies." (How DO they change so quickly?) And the highlight of the song was when the girls all came out with these really huge fish pillows--yes, pillows that looked like fish (you can purchase one a Cabela's if you're interested)--and started dancing around with them.

To be honest, it was a surreal moment, especially for me with the show choir baggage. In fact, the entire evening reminded me of an episode of "Glee."

When it was all over, we all piled into Amy's car to head home, and one of her daughters blurted out, "What was with the fish?!" We all kind of laughed about how strange the fish dance was and how some of the girls probably hated that dance with every fiber of their being, wishing that the stage had swallowed them whole it was that embarrassing.

It was at that moment that I left my show choir baggage on the steps of the high school and realized that I may not have made the "team," but I may have saved myself a boatload of embarrassment in the process.



  1. Show choir "pickers' sometimes can be very subjective. I have helped my friend adjudicate her try outs for several years. It can be very political in a large school.

    Also, my youngest son tried out for our school's show choir freshman year and supposedly was an "alternate" which technically meant he got to do nothing. That decision got changed and he was a member (albeit our school is very small and not much competition).

    It ended up that he was the one boy in the group that the teacher valued the most by senior year because he was so passionate about it and if I must say, very good. He even went to a premier show choir camp for several years and LOVED it. They learned the best stuff there and we so enjoyed the final concerts.

    I'm sorry you weren't in Prisms. I'm assuming that is what you tried out for. That was a hot commodity in those days and I'm sure the competition was fierce. I'm glad you left your baggage somewhere so if your daughter likes it she can have fun doing it for a long time.

  2. Ah, I love me a good Show Choir! How fun to have an extravaganza of them... I only usually see one at a time.

    Tonight I go to see my daughter's theatre class's showcase. It will feature their one-act play which they took to state. My son saw it when they took it to regionals at UofA and said it was extremely weird. So I'm not really looking forward to that too much. I'd much rather see the show choir I think. Actually, like you, I'd rather be in the show choir!

  3. If you meant you tried out for Prisms and didn't make the cut, you were not alone. I tried out one year and was not chosen and never had the nerve to tryout again. Kudos to you for giving it another shot.

  4. Those high school hurts can last a lifetime, can't they? My best friend didn't make show choir, and I think she still carries that baggage, too. Just like I still believe with every fiber of my being that I should have been Dorothy, not Glinda the Good Witch. :)

    We just went to Nashville for a national show choir contest, and it was so cool to see those choirs! They are leaps and bounds better and fancier than the choir I sang with back in high school.

  5. Oh, I agree with Lisa L - I think it's HUGE that you tried out again!! Perseverance is so much more important than glitter and sequins and jazz hands anyway. :)

  6. Linda and Lisa, I had totally forgotten the name of the group, so thanks for reminding me of that.

    And thanks for your kind words, Lisa and Mary. Not sure if I'd call it perseverance or tenacity or just plain orneriness that made me try it again. I think the conductor just didn't like me. :)

  7. Sounds like a fun evening!

    I can't believe I'm posting this, Shelley, but I think your daughter's trouts & bass song might have been an homage to an infamous song from the Broadway musical Chorusline. The title of the song is "Dance Ten, Looks Three." But the song's chorus . . . well, it's the punchline. Check it out on YouTube; I'd love to know if that's the song behind yours.

  8. I the parent of one of those middle school clumsy boys? :) No matter - it was a great show, wasn't it?

  9. Cara, thanks for the head's up on the song! I will definitely have to check out Chorusline lyrics and see if that's it. I am fairly sure you must be right because, really, how many songs about trouts and bass could there possibly be in the world?

    Now Jenny, what would ever make you think that?? :)