Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hey Kids! Let's Put On a Show!

Still a performer. Sort of.

When I was growing up, back in the day, we loved to perform. Me, my sister, and our best friend might spend a morning rehearsing, making tickets, and setting up the venue. In the afternoon we would go hand out tickets to the lucky neighbors, make up programs, and finally perform. Yeah, we weren't union, we did it all. This went on probably from the time we were six or seven, until we were maybe eleven or twelve and the self-consciousness set in. Also, these tended to be summer events...what with all that time to kill and the backyard being our staging area. Our performances generally consisted of just a song or two. We'd simply sing along with a record and perhaps work in a few dance moves. Mostly it was all three of us together, although there was the occasional duet or solo piece for variety. The neighbors, both other kids and grown-ups, were extraordinarily kind as far as I can remember. They came when they could and sat there nicely watching and applauded at the proper time. Sometimes my mom provided some popcorn and Kool-Aid for our guests.

Did anyone else ever do this? My own children did not, so much. Although perhaps this was because I had mostly boys. They didn't dance and sing for the neighbors, but there were impromptu wrestling matches and things, often done for my benefit I assumed. Perhaps those displays of strength and power from their skinny little bodies were their way of expressing themselves. Also, one time, when Social Animal was in second grade, he had washers on an old pair of shoes for the class' River Dance performance. He taught some of the moves to Girlie Girl, who was about four and happened to have tap shoes at the time. I still remember them dancing on our tiny porch, the porch light their personal spotlight. Handsome Lad loves it when someone will watch him skateboard. He's getting very good and I guess for him that is also a kind of performance...an art.

Are you now, or have you ever been, or will you ever be...a performer? We should talk about it :-)


AlienCG said...

We used to use a big chunk of the neighborhood for hide 'n' seek games at night. Either that, or we played Kick the Can across the street in the school yard. It was fun.

Sebastien said...

Funny, my friends never did that. We did a lot of the wrestling. Also remember doing things like pretending we were the Hardy Boys and looking around for crimes to solve or imagining being chased by bad guys.

I think part of the reason we never put on plays is that little Timmy from my neighborhood got his kneecaps busted for trying to run his own show. Supposedly the union paid a couple of mafia dopes to rough little Timmy up for his brazen attempt at gaining market share in the performance arena.

Just goes to show that some things ain't worth trying. Ain't that right, little Timmy?

Ananda girl said...


Now that's a hard act to follow.
My brother used to use the fireplace broom as a guitar and pretend he was Elvis.

My sister and I put on a show every night that the TV was in the shop... where the TV used to sit.My family laughed a lot at us.

laura b. said...

AlienCG: Ooohh, we did a lot of hide and seek too. A classic :-)

Sebastien: I guess I should be glad I didn't grow up in your neighborhood. Imagining the world deprived of me singing "Billy Don't Be a Hero" hurts my heart. Little Timmy...if you made it out alive I have work for you!

Ananda: Your brother sounds like one cool cat. And you and your sister saved the day! I'm sure your performance beat anything on tv.

Churlita said...

We did that too. I wish I had it on video now because one of my neighbor friends ended up playing NFL football and marrying John Heder's sister, so maybe I could have made some money off of it.

Tara said...

A few of my friends and I would put on some skits for either just our amusement or sometimes for our parents.

My neighbor friend and I had a murder mystery series going on called Pammy & Cynthia. There would usually be some kind of love triangle with an imaginary boy, and one of us would be murdered in a jealous rage each time we played, but that character would return the next time.

laura b. said...

Churlita: Dang, Easy Street denied due to lack of video.
And I know at least one of your daughters is a performer too! :-)

Tara: That is so funny! You guys totally knew where the real drama was....the romantic triangle. Very good instincts there :-)