Monday, March 05, 2007

Random Thoughts on a Variety Show

Number Two's elementary school holds a variety show every year, and usually it's a good mix of talent and creativity, heart and skill.

This year, it was less so. There were still some talented kids who played instruments, including one amazing pianist who did Für Elise with perfection. And there were a couple of group dance acts--one a group of second-grade girls, another four third-grade boys--who had great choreography and made the crowd laugh and cheer. And one okay act that made fun of local Blue Shield commercials that was kind of cute.

There were a great many that were uninspired, though, and made me long for years past. If the music choices had been better, even the bouncy-flailing would have been more fun.

My biggest complaint, however, is with the crowd. Happens every year. If I didn't know better, I'd think we were all a bunch of brainless morons. Any and every song that has a decent beat, the audience starts clapping along. It drives me insane, but when the dancers are doing the same thing, it's to be expected. But every song?

And it's not just the dance numbers. They did it for singers. For soloists.

They did it when one poor boy was singing Proud to be an American.

Fine, if you want to drown out the music 'cause you think the kids will feel you're "involved" with the performance, have fun. But do you have to make it impossible to hear the poor singers, those brave kids who get up their all by themselves and do something so personal? It's infuriating, and it isn't even my kid.

This year there also seemed to be a lot more high-pitched screaming when names were announced than in years past, and for the first time, there were hecklers in the audience. Things have really gone downhill since Number One's class moved up to the middle school.

Speaking of Number One. She didn't want to go. One of the first acts was the brothers of her crush, who accompanied them on guitar. (I love watching him perform, he's one of those kids who's a cut above everyone else. If they're still doing American Idol and the like in six years, we might be rooting for him.) I called Number One to tease her, and offered to go talk to him about teaching her guitar for the song she's writing. She begged me not to, said it was pathetic. I said I was at least going to tell him I liked hearing him play and that I was her mother.

She didn't want me to tell him I was her mother.

I feel like I've been shot in the heart. *sob*


MaryF said...

HUGS, Natalie. It's so hard when they get to be that age!

I used to run the talent show when I was music teacher, and the audience was always so rude!

Victoria said...

It's been awhile since I've been to one of those. I'm stunned by your description of the crowd. Hecklers in the audience of a kids talent show? That blows my mind!

I feel your pain with Number One.

Natalie Damschroder said...

I've never witnessed this level of rudeness before. Maybe it's because we sat near the back this time and usually weren't, but it seemed to be all over.

The hecklers were young boys, so no big surprise there.