Saturday, October 24, 2009

In Love With the Eighties

Last night our ward had a talent show. The activities committee began campaigning heavily for acts several weeks ago, and were immediately satisfied with Janine when she signed up to play some of her missionary songs on the guitar. I felt satisfied too. Janine was performing, she could represent our family. I was off the hook.

Or not.

Here's the thing. The chair of the activities committee is my good friend Jessica, and one thing that comes with being friends with the activities committee chair is not only are you expected to attend activities as a member of the ward, you are expected to attend as a supportive friend. It is also because of this friendship, that last Sunday, after church, Jessica came up to me and asked me what I was doing for the talent show.

E: I'm not doing anything. I don't really have any performable talents.
J: Well, then you can display something. What are you going to display?
E: I'm not sure I really have any displayable talents either.
J: Well, what are your talents?
E: Writing.
J: I'm sure you have a talent we can put in the show.
E: Yes, my talent will be showing up and cheering for everyone else.

She lets it drop, but not really. Later that week, Jessica is making calls to confirm all the acts. I happen to pick up the phone when she calls for Janine, and seeing as Neen is out, I confirm for her.

Jessica sounds relieved. Apparently the majority of her acts have backed out and she's getting desperate. So desperate in fact she asks me again. I start describing my lack of performable talents again, when Jessica comes up with another desperate plan.

"We could do something together. Yeah, I would do something if I was doing it with you. But what could we do. . . tell you what, let's both think of ideas and I'll call you tomorrow night to figure it out, kay? Thanks Elena, bye!"

I hang up the phone and realize something. I just volunteered to be in a talent show, for which I have no talents. Why am I doing this again?

Jessica and I quickly ascertain that the only way to pull off our last minute act is to make ourselves ridiculous. If people are busy marveling at how silly we look, they will not have time to notice how untalented we are. So we agree on the easiest form of ridiculous act; an 80s dance.

Has anyone seen the movie Music and Lyrics? Yeah, I hadn't either, but Jessica had. When I arrived at her house at 4 pm yesterday (three hours before we would be performing said act), she pulled out the movie and showed me the opening credits, where Hugh Grant is pretending to be an 80s popstar and singing a wonderful song called Pop! Goes my Heart. Many of our dance moves were inspired by this scene.

Within an hour we'd choreographed our entire dance, put our hair in side ponytails, and headed to the church to practice our act on the stage. Here's another thing about being friends with the activities committee chair; you have a key to the church so you can go in early and practice your act.

By go time, we were telling everyone who asked that our talent was not an ability to dance, but an ability to imitate the 80s. With these low expectations, we went into our performance.

I think it was actually quite a success. Everyone was so busy laughing at us that they didn't think to critique our dance moves. And if I can get them to laugh, I will consider myself a success.

I went into this act totally unhappy to be doing it. I did not, under any circumstances, want to get up on that stage and make an idiot of myself. I learned however, that making an idiot of yourself is actually incredibly fun.

And besides, I have a great talent for impersonating the 80s.


Kylie Groft said...

Did you get a video of it? I could seriously do with a dose of the 80's right now! :D

reddy said...

My friend Jackie did. I'll have to see if I can get it from her and then I'll post it.

Katey said...

Making an idiot of myself seems to be one of my special talents. The trick is to make it look like a a goofy dance routine. I used the theme song from the James Bond "Goldfinger".