Friday, December 01, 2006

Open Mic Night

Last night the nearby elementary school held an open mic night to raise funds- inviting all kids, K-8, to get up on stage and show off their talents. Ticket price- $2 for adults, $1 for kids. No sweat.

My 8 year old daughter decided she wanted in. She played a short piece on the keyboard. My two oldest, despite their strong vocal and piano abilities decided against performing for fear of looking stupid in front of their friends.

That was a tip-off to a trend that became evident as the show began. Here is the rundown on the evening’s entertainment:

  • About 60 people showed up. Not a bad audience size, but at the ticket price charged I doubt we will be getting any new Apple’s for the computer lab.
  • First up- an 8yr old boy played drums while his dad played guitar, then his 5 year old sister sang the ever popular “Hit The Road Jack” hitting all the notes square on the head.
  • Next on stage was a 9 year old boy bravely singing a song while looking like he was going to puke.
  • Loved the next performer- an adorable 5 year old girl. She tried to sing the song “Jesus Take The Wheel” but, bless her heart, she forgot the words after about 5 seconds, and left the stage looking very sad while the music played on until the soundman awkwardly hit the stop button. Ouch.
  • V was next on the bill. A very confident and silk-shirted 9 year old girl sang a pop song- the title of which I couldn’t quite figure out. She finished, received appropriate applause, and the MC came up to thank her and introduce the next performer. Just then, she pulled a note out of her pocket, handed it to MC, and after a second or two of confused looks by him and the soundman, she jumped into her second song- “Don't it Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” After that, she announced she would sing another song- “Jesus Take The Wheel.” The audience was stunned as she turned open mic night into her own concert. The little 5 year old that attempted the same song earlier was not amused.
  • A 10 year old girl played “Yesterday” on the electric guitar after only a few months of lessons (she did great). Only bad moment there was when a 4 year old boy in the audience loudly asked his mom if the 10 year old was a boy. She was quickly followed by a trio of 8 year olds singing Aly & AJ’s rendition of “Do You Believe In Magic.” Fortunately, you could hear Aly & AJ’s vocals.
  • My girl A was up next. She sat at the keyboard and opened up her piano book- but had no where to set it. The MC helped by placing a music stand in front of her, perfectly blocking her face from every single person in the audience. Very funny. She did a good job and played the part with few mistakes.
  • Fave performance of the night was next. Two 5th grade girls, with one iPod between them, stuck one earbud each in their ears, and proceeded to sing an Al Yankovic parody song. No one but them could hear the music. Very, very funny. Especially during the instrumental parts.
  • The night was capped off by the only middle school kids of the night. 5 friends that got up and sang the Veggietales theme song. Their performance was worthy of a Saturday Night Live sketch.

What I noticed about the night was that all the performers (except for the last group of kids) were 10 years old or under. Something happens to us right about 10-11 years of age. We become very self-aware, self-conscious, and afraid of looking like a dork. I love the wonder and fearlessness of many younger kids. They inspire me, and amaze me at some of the things they do and say. Something to be learned there.

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