Friday, March 30, 2012

The Talent No-Show

Princess and Birdie cheesing for the camera.  Already, Birdie has the diva attitude down cold.

Both of my children are absolutely certain they are destined to be stars.  Princess knows her stardom will be the result of being a Princess, so she has nothing to prove.  Birdie, on the other hand, is still searching for her claim to fame.  She thinks she may be onto something with the school Talent Show.

Last week the girls brought home fliers announcing the upcoming school Talent Show.  Princess immediately put hers in the recycling bin.  Birdie read the flier and had stars in her eyes.  Oh sweet lord, not again...

Last year Birdie participated in an After School Enrichment Program that taught some of the basics of hiphop dancing.  The class met one hour a week for six weeks.  At the end of this program, Birdie was a hiphop expert, to hear her tell it.  (You come to a different conclusion when you see the video footage.)  So proud of her newly acquired skills, Birdie wanted to enter the school Talent Show.  I asked her to show me what she wanted to do.  "I'm going to dance.  What else do you need to know?"  I wanted to know if she had a routine.  "Nah, I'm just going to go where the music takes me."  She gave me a demonstration.  Well, I'd love to know where the music took her... so I can be sure not to go.  Fortunately (or unfortunately?) for my friends and neighbors with children attending the same school, the Talent Show began after my darlings' bed time.  I avoided that AFV moment.  (I did, however, sign her up for regular dance classes this year, in hopes of improving her moving.  The jury's still out on whether that has worked.)

Musical Birdie-- the early years
Princess's musical aspirations, before the tiara
Like me, both of my girls want to be musically adept.  Both love to "sing" and "dance".  I put these in quotes because-- well, it ain't good.  Like me, the dancing my ladies do is either out of step with the music, or reminiscent of a convulsion.  You see them (and me) and feel the need to perform a rescue/intervention.  We all sing like we are in the throes of death, and you kind of hope we are dying so it will end soon.  I say these things lovingly and often, so Princess and Birdie will not be shocked when a stranger makes a similar comment.  My family has plenty of talents, but the performing arts aren't even in the top 100.

This brings me back to my current problem...

This past Christmas, Birdie got a pink acoustic guitar from Santa and immediately began planning her musical debut in this year's Talent Show.  Daddy Clause, what were you thinking?!!!  Birdie decided that since she loved to sing but has a hard time singing the music on the radio, she'd just write her own music.  

Oh yeah, happy times at my house.

For two solid months, I have had to perfect the art of keeping a straight face while listening to my doll's compositions.  The presentation is just too much.  Imagine, if you will, Birdie sitting on the floor with a very serious look on her face, holding her guitar with it's pink neck straight up in the air like a flag of surrender.  She is delicately strumming one string-- the same string-- over and over while wandering completely off script through a stream-of-consciousness dialog that she calls a song.  Just when you think you can't live another single second through this insanity, she stops, waits through a very pregnant pause, and announces "it's okay to applaud now.  That was my masterpiece."  Wow.

Princess seen "supporting" her diva sister
Your initial response is to clap with extreme enthusiasm.  Holy crow, I made it!  I lived through the whole song without shrieking or bursting into peels of laughter.  Yay, me!  You quickly realize, however, that this could be misinterpreted by the star performer as encouragement to do another song.  You subtly dial back the enthusiasm.   Finding the right amount of praise has been a tricky task.  (I am discovering that any amount of applause is enough to rouse an encore... sigh.)  Her favorite original composition to perform is called "Race for the Sun", and so far I have heard 14 completely different renditions of this song.  Princess is very quick to let Birdie know "your song is AW-FULL, sissy.  Don't you know Taxman or Good Day Sunshine?"  Bless her little heart, though-- Princess does support Birdie's incredible talent of consistently strumming just that one guitar string.  "Doesn't the other five strings get in the way?  Why are they even there if you don't need them?!"  Hmmmm.  The world may never know.

I think maybe Birdie picked up on my feigned love for her guitar talent.  I don't know what could have given it away.  Last week, though, she informed me that she has a new talent in mind-- one she is sure is unique only to her.  *If you need to take a potty break, now's the time.  Trust me on this.

Birdie told me she is going to recite the original-- and by that I mean "very first"-- haiku.  In it's original Japanese.  On stage.  She explained that afterward, she plans to lead the audience in a discussion about the meaning of the poem and about the artform of haiku poetry in general.  "I'm pretty sure no other elementary school students will be reading Japanese poetry," she boasted.  Pret-ty sure you're right, kiddo.  (I think she needs a talkshow on NPR instead of a captive audience of elementary school students and parents.)  Apparently, the look on my and my husband's faces indicated this wasn't a good choice.  "So you don't like the haiku idea, huh?  How 'bout Dante's Inferno?  I could read that in Greek."

She's just not going to get it, is she?

I think I'll just impose the bed time rule again...


  1. Whoa. Yeesh. Sammi also has no discernable musical talent, and has asked for a guitar and a drum kit for her birthday in 2 months. And she can't sing to save her life. I have a baaaaad feeling we're going to be in similar straits soon enough...

  2. hahaha, this made me laugh out loud. I love the line about the other 5 strings getting in the way. Priceless. Your kids are so cute.

  3. OMG...LMAO!!! Dear ol' hubby is wondering WTH is going on! It's hard to be supportive when they are ummmm...lacking in certain areas isn't it? ;P

    My family (pre husbands) used to lip-sync happy birthday. I think sign language would've been better. At least we would've looked like we were doing something. Ha!

    Have a great weekend! DI

  4. I loved this what a funny and sweet post.What beautiful girls!