When it Comes to Children’s Talent Shows, I’d Use the Word ‘Talent’ Loosely.

I heard somewhere that people who reminisce in their old age are likely to live longer.

I, for one, am already convinced that happy people have a longer life expectancy, and nostalgia, with its ability to create warm fuzzy feelings, plays a big part in that.

For me, listening to certain songs helps bring those special memories flooding back.

That’s why, on occasion, I still listen to the artists I loved when I was a young whippersnapper – no matter how embarrassing listening to them may seem now.

Heck, I don’t mind being embarrassed, some of my favourite memories are from embarrassing moments.

One song, that to anyone else may seem like a jilted breakup song, leaves me with a extreme case of the giggles because of the memory I have permanently associated with it.

It reminds me of six friends standing on a stage at their year seven graduation, wailing into microphones over a Delta Goodrem track, with absolutely no musical talent at all, and wondering why they had chosen to perform such a non-appropriate song in the first place, or for that matter, anything at all.

Maybe it was because one friend (me) and another (the only boy in our exclusive group) had a rather sizeable obsession with Miss Goodrem, and chose the song purely on the fact that our boy could play it on piano.

We then later found out that he couldn’t actually play it … yet we had rehearsed the song, so stuck to our guns and instead used a backing track.

We even performed it in front of our music class first, a prelude to the main event, if you will. My mortal enemy introduced us as ‘The Delta Wannabes’, needless to say I wanted to smack her across the face.

On the night of our graduation, our then music teacher Mrs Cripps had the audacity to, at the last minute, switch the backing track for the original recording, because she was afraid we couldn’t keep in tune without it …

Uh, yeah. I’m pretty sure that if we were going to crash and burn, better on our own with the backing track instead of trying to compete with an impossible vocal range that was well outside our own capabilities. Just saying.

Now every time I listen to that fateful song I can’t get the image out of my head of my friend groping his own ass when singing ‘if you think love is blind’. I didn’t get why he did it at the time. Maybe he was just lost in the music … I think I’m still coming to terms with it.

The sad thing is our year seven graduation wasn’t the only time we ‘performed’ in front of an audience. Oh, we entered talent quests alright, with still absolutely no discernible talent.

Were we just impervious to embarrassment back then? Or were we really that deluded? (I’m beginning to think we just used it as an excuse to hang out at ‘rehearsals’.)

In one dance number my friend slipped over on stage and fell on her ass because she had made the regrettable decision to wear socks…

Another time we made Lion King masks out of paper mache and danced around to ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’, constantly bumping into one another because we didn’t cut the eye holes big enough … and then the track skipped half way through because of little kiddies jumping around in the corridors, so we lost our place and had to continue stumbling around aimlessly until, with sweet relief, the bloody song ended.

At grade nine camp we lip synced to Manamana by The Muppets. I was quite mortified that my mortal enemy was the one to put on my compilation CD, only for the first track to be a Britney Spears number. Something completely unacceptable at the time by fourteen-year-old standards, which she didn’t mind telling me so in front of our entire year.

On another occasion my own mother choreographed our routine to Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Ain’t it Funny’ for our grade six camp ‘talent show’. The entire time I swear the actual talented dancers of our year were glaring at us, and on the return journey home someone asked me if it was a comedy routine.

Ah, yes, I have enough happy memories to see me through to a ripe old age. That is, of course, if I haven’t already died of shame.

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2 thoughts on “When it Comes to Children’s Talent Shows, I’d Use the Word ‘Talent’ Loosely.

  1. neurochique says:

    Makes me wonder why all that enthusiasm wasn’t encouraged and nurtured. Do you still sing?

    • abbeyh91 says:

      Only alone in my car… My mum’s a singer. I once hoped her talent was inheritable – but it seems all I’ve gotten from her are loving reminders that I’m out of tune!

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