Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Talent Show

This spring, Pima Elementary held a talent show. There hadn't been a talent show held for years, not since I have been there, at least, and I was happy with that. I am not a fan of talent shows. The judging and the heartbreak...I think it is just not appropriate for elementary school kids. I mean, they have to deal with enough ridicule and peer pressure every day, why throw a talent show into the mix to give children more opportunity to be cruel?

Ok...had a bad talent show experience in grade school. It's not obvious, is it?

So, Kellan informs me one day she is going to audition for the talent show. My heart skips a few beats, and my stomach knots up, but I try to be upbeat and supportive as I strangle out a "That's awesome, sweetie!" She informs me that she is going to sing by herself, has already picked out the song, ("Sally's Song" from Nightmare Before Christmas) and that she and Sawyer have already picked out the right version of the song for her to sing to, as well as worked out a little bit of choreography.

This is typical Kellan. She doesn't feel the need to run her decisions by me first. She always tells me after the fact that she has auditioned for parts. She sings with Pima Singers (the school's chorus) and they have two big productions a year. Without fail she auditions for everything. With Sawyer, there is preparation and nerves. With Kellan, it's "Oh, I tried out for Wendy and I got the part of the Mother, and I am so excited and I am also going to be a pirate." Maybe she knows that I am on pins and needles on audition day, and she is sparing me the worry. Actually, she has amazing self confidence, and doesn't need me to be her cheerleader.

The only reason I was informed of the audition for the talent show was because auditions were being held after school, and some carpool rearranging needed to happen.

So, audition day comes. I am literally sick to my stomach. I hear that there are several adults, both parents and teachers who will be judging the auditions. What will their criteria be? How sad will Kellan be if she is not chosen? God, I HATE talent shows.

When I picked up Kellan after her audition, she was exhilerated. She thought it went really well and was just happy to have been a part of the process. I looked around, and was absolutely blown away by how many kids were auditioning. I have known some of these kids since they were babies, and would never in a million years thought they would have wanted to audition for a talent show. Kids had formed bands, created magic acts and dance numbers, and were excited to be able to perform. Wow. Ok, maybe this talent show wasn't the horrible idea I thought it was...

Kellan made the talent did everyone who auditioned. It was huge event held over two nights. The teachers responsible for making this talent show happen worked closely with the kids during after school rehearsals, making sure they knew their cues, knew their material, and were supportive of each other.

This talent show wasn't about choosing who was the best. It was about giving these kids the self confidence to be able to get up in front of a room full of people. It was about doing your best. It was about supporting your friends. It was about having fun. All huge life lessons that these kids now have under their belts. Kudos to the amazing teachers that worked incredibly long hours during the last month of school to give this valuable experience to my child.

And now, I really am not all that against talent shows anymore. At least not the ones at Pima Elementary.

Check out Kellan's performance!



José said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
José said...

The best part for me was when a performer was struggling with her performance and her concentration started slipping, you could see stage fright starting to set in when none was evident at the start. This is the part where typically you would see some snickering from classmates... Instead, what we saw was all the other performers start to cheer her on louder and louder... You could literally feel them WILLING her strength to finish. She seemed to settle down and finished her performance without any more faltering... All I could think about was WOW; this is what teamwork is all about. Only, it's not what you would expect for them to have learned in this setting. I've been coaching most of my adult life, from T-ball to high school Varsity to adult leagues... This is the hardest thing for a coach to achieve and here it was being demonstrated beautifully in a primary school talent show... I am forever grateful to the teachers that drove this point home to the kids. My kids... Also, it underscored one of the primary reasons we love Pima so much... The Village extends beyond the parents...