It was the end of October, possibly the beginning of November when I was approached by the beautiful Mrs. Z. This woman is beautiful. 5’4″ curvy, bronzed clear skin, perfect make up and hair, on point outfits with those amazing little touches only she could make, this woman made a cheerleading tutu out of multi colored mesh squares. Instead of looking utterly ridiculous she made it come together some how; and all the kids wanted one (faculty basketball game for students), she is just flawless.
So, as I said Mrs. Z sashayed up to me and confidently, almost trivially, laid out this plan for a Plus Sized Woman’s Beauty pageant. I gave her the sideways squint of, “a Pageant, here? Like glitter and ball gowns, and sponsors and…”
She assured me oh no, no, not like that! She gave me this image of togetherness and friendly competition and of course the eventual crowning of a winner.
“Sounds fun.” I remark, thinking perhaps she wants me to spread the word, get Ry to run sound, ask the band to perform (which I sincerely hoped was not the case!).
“It is! All you need to do is sign up with a basic contract, and pay a $25 holding fee and you’re set!”
After that largely pregnant pause, she explained it would consist of 3 parts, a parade, a talent portion, and a favorite outfit portion.
The dusty gears in my brain worked themselves furiously trying to get my brain started. Me? Compete? Talents? What?
Maybe it was the look in her eyes, a sort of please say yes, it will be fun look; maybe it was a momentary lapse of sanity, either way, I agreed.
“I’ll get you the contract/ waver as soon as I can!” She squealed, “I finally have a Caucasian girl in the pageant!”
Mildly amused, we part ways for duties and such.
Weeks pass, no mention of a contract, nothing. Then one day she comes up, bedazzled in holiday perfection,”Did you get my email over Thanksgiving?”
Maybe? I was so sick, I honestly didn’t remember.
Students were sent as little pages back and forth from our kingdoms during study hall (let’s be honest, if a student refuses to study and all actions are taken and they are still drawing in their notebooks… Sending them on an errand isn’t a horrific thing.). Contracts, envelopes with checks and waivers and statements are sent.
All done, it’s done, back to worrying about the concert, parade, testing, etc.
Text received yesterday, the Pageant is the NEXT week! I forgot. I totally lost my voice after the parade and didn’t care cause it was break. Except, tomorrow is the run through, and next Saturday is the event.
What to do? Well, I think my voice is healed enough to sing. Playing trombone…. I don’t think that’s what the audience wants, especially Trombone music from 100 or more years ago (it’s what I got). I just realized I could totally do a color guard flag routine to some song… But getting all the tricks ready by Saturday… Probably not.
So I am to sing. I sing very low, songs from musicals and the Renaissance period (It’s all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog! Or perhaps Oft have I sighed, Oft have I sighed, Oft have I sighed for he who hears me not!).
I do a tolerable Fantine, a reasonable Mame, but it’s been a long freaking time. I can sing Yuē Lang Lang in mock child soprano with more confidence than those college songs. (Music from China, music education class standard) But I could try.
The last song I was working in was Adam’s part from Children of Eden The Hardest Part of Love. That was difficult because I was trying to stay in my man voice the whole time.
At this point I could back out. Get sick and run for my life and dignity. I know I don’t make babies cry anymore when I sing. I also know if I was spectacular, I’d be on Broadway, and I’m not.
So maybe, I’ll just dash it all and try to do something…. Maybe a jazz standard.
I’m afraid no one will be hearing me sing something new, my voice just isn’t poppy. It’s belting-out-in-a-bar-and-I-hope-everyone-is-feeling-sentimental- and- a little-tone- deaf- here-we-go!
Yes, I’ve been as classically trained, as much as a vocal minor who is teaching band can be (4 years worth of 1 hour a week lessons plus small performances in front of peers). So I have a leg up…. Maybe?
Sigh. But I need this. Performance experience. It’s important. If I ever want to get better…. Practice, exposure, and possibly vomiting.
Well I signed up for this, let’s quit the *^%#*+%# and let’s go!
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