Saturday, June 23, 2012

Show Layton Your Talent...Broadway Edition

It was a spur of the moment thing, the decision to audition for the Layton city talent show. We had to make the decision AND have a song chosen all within a day and a half. A Broadway themed show meant that we had plenty of music to choose from...but somehow the three of us were drawn to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from Wizard of Oz. Had the show ever even been on Broadway?  We found out later that it had not, somehow...regardless that it is one of the most performed stage shows ever. Interestingly enough, at this very moment this particular song is actually being used in a Broadway show about the life of Judy Garland. Lucky us. So despite the fact that it would only be Julie, Kami and I (Stephanie and Catrina both scheduled to be out of town) we found ourselves a copy of the sheet music and went to work arranging a solo into a trio. And boy howdy, did we do a good job! I'm rather impressed with the arrangement we wrote! The judges must have been impressed too. Because of 60 auditionees, we were one of 15 chosen to go on to the actual Talent Show performance.  
The three of us were blown away from the get-go with our "competition." Through the mandatory meeting and then later, the dress rehearsal we started to get to know the other singers. And wow! Genuinely talented and genuinely nice. And you know what? Not a single one had chosen to sing anything from "Wicked" or "Phantom of the Opera!" I was so proud of us! Not that I don't enjoy those shows. I've seen them both and own each soundtrack. But they are SO popular that they've become kind for the masses, I guess. And maybe that sounds really snobbish of me...but I was really excited that this talent show consisted of 15 Broadway songs that had some real variety. And variety was probably a really good way to describe all the performers themselves. As much fun as it was to perform on stage...I think I enjoyed just as much, if not more so, hanging out in the green room behind the amphitheater with them all throughout the evening. Because though we were all so different, we had one major thing in common. We were all theatre geek performers....which equaled out to a room full of personalities that are big and open, social and not at all shy. It didn't take long for all of us to be swapping stories, sharing performing experiences, rooting for each other, giving hugs and we had all known each other for years.

We didn't win. But I didn't expect to. The judges from the auditions were being swapped out for audience participation in the winner selection process. Which more or less meant that the evening was a popularity contest. Or whoever gets the most friends and family to come and vote for them, wins. And I was okay with that. Yes, I know this sounds like I'm trying to put a graceful loser spin on the story. But honestly and sincerely, just the fact that we had been chosen to perform at all was enough for me. It was a truly memorable evening.      


Friday, June 1, 2012

Photo Shoot

You may or may not remember me mentioning that I am singing in a newly formed little women's group.  We call ourselves "Witness."  Our goals mostly revolve around doing performances for and sharing our testimonies with church activities...Relief Society and Young Women events, firesides, etc.  But this summer we have branched out a bit.  Three of the five of us auditioned for a talent contest in a neighboring town.  Of 60 auditionees, we were one of the 15 performers chosen to sing in the official talent show.

All five of us are also scheduled to perform at Cherry Hill next month as part of their weekend summer concert series.  Rather than just one song, we are putting together an hour long concert...which, as you can imagine, has kept us very busy over the past weeks.  Along with choosing and practicing songs we are also busily discussing "costume" choices, choreography/staging and "segues" we call them....the little bit of talking we do in between each song to interact with the audience and connect them from one song to the next.

It's a lot of work.  But these 4 other women have lifted me, both spiritually and mentally, in ways that I didn't expect.  They are good, they are kind, they are talented and they honestly care about me.  They allow me to be myself...whether I am giddy and excited or anxious and worried or grumpy and hormonal.  They don't judge me.  I feel safe airing my opinions....even if it is contrary to what someone else's opinion might be.  I can't believe how much fun it is to truly collaborate on a song with these women....taking a solo and writing in harmony parts and making the number uniquely our own.  I sing soprano on some numbers, on others I sing alto, sometimes tenor, sometimes a high descant...all of us taking turns working different parts.  It's a lot of fun. 

Photographs were required by the powers that be at both the talent show and Cherry Hill.  Here is a sampling of what we got.   


Photography credits go to Kami's brother....the amazingly talented Brady Burrell. 
Thanks, Brady!! You are awesome!