Sure Is Hot Under These Lights

My baby sister is coming out to visit the family in about a month and in honor of her presence another of my sisters (I have four) is planning a talent show. Details are sketchy at this point but I believe, a la Dan in Real Life, participation will not be optional.

This is a problem.

Now because all my readers are very nice people I expect that you’re thinking right now something along the lines of come on Alison, I’m sure you have lots of talent, look at your blog, it’s FANTASTIC!!!! (Ok, you might not be quite that enthusiastic but I get the picture.) And You’re right I do have talents, I have several of them, but you don’t understand.

I come from a family of inordinately talented people. It’s unfair in some sort of cosmic way. Honestly, I feel sorry for those not in my family. (Except you, you’re very talented. Really, I mean it.) I have six brothers and sisters and there’s not a one of us that can’t sing.  So sure, I could sing.  But I have a younger sister (the one who’s planning this shindig for those of you keeping score) who has a BA in vocal performance, honestly she’s amazing.

So singing’s out.

We can pretty much all dance some, but none of us have really received any noticeable formal training and there are enough grandkids (29 at last count) to do the cute made up dances. Never mind that those aren’t really that cute once you pass the age of 10 or so.

There goes dancing.

As mentioned before there are certainly things that I’m good at. (I’m really not posting this fishing for compliments.) But aside from the afore mentioned singing, not much of it is really something that stands up well on a stage. I am excellent at my job. I once had an attending surgeon tell his resident “Alison knows this case better than I do so if she hands you an instrument, you figure out how to use it.” (For those of you who don’t know, surgeons are not known for their free flowing compliments. ) That was HUGE. But it doesn’t really translate well for an audience.

My father is pretty much a full time actor these days. He does teach the occasional government class for the local community college but anyone who’s spent any time with him in the last 4 or 5 years will tell you that he’s a heck of a lot more interested in whatever play he’s got going on than in what he’s teaching the next day. So I think I’ll skip the “to be or not to be” monologue. (50. Cheap I know but c’mon, it’s a total gimme.)

Oh, and did I mention that he also plays in a band or two? Yeah, he plays big band music on two or three different instruments (no, not at the same time). I have no eye-hand coordination. I play nothing.

I write well. (At least I think I write well, if you disagree feel free to keep that to yourself.) But again, not so much a performance kind of art.

I have a brother who did stand-up for a while. So I’m not doing anything with watermelons and sledgehammers. (Not that I’d really consider it but it’s just another option that’s closed to me.)

In the stupid human tricks category, I have a brother-in-law who can wiggle his ears and his eyebrows. He does this weird thing where he lifts one ear and then the eyebrow on that side, then the other brow and then the other ear. It’s like he’s doing the wave with his face. I think that trumps my toe that bends off at a right angle.

I’m pretty good with attention to detail. I, personally, am drawing up plans for an addition to our kitchen and I’ll probably do a lot of the work myself, I am very handy after all. But… I believe a theme is beginning to emerge here and I’ll leave it at that.

I have sisters who are beautiful (seriously anyone who can wield a mascara wand like Catherine… well, that’s talent baby) and sisters who are crafty (they may get away with just displaying) and sisters who can do gymnastics. And I’m the sarcastic, snide one who doesn’t bother wearing makeup, still hasn’t put together any kind of cushion for the bench she built months ago (because that involves sewing and I can’t really do that) and my lack of coordination? It’s the stuff of legend.

My grandmother was known throughout her life as a fantastic orator. She recited stories and poems and what have you from the time she was 5-or-so until not long before she died.

So she won’t be there to compete with… I may have to think more about that. (But unlike Anne, I think I prefer to make people laugh.)

I know it’s not a competition and they’re my family, they love me. And I love them too. But more than that I respect them, their opinions matter to me. And I’m not afraid to say that I want to impress.

Admit it, you would too.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. diana banana
    Jun 05, 2008 @ 06:52:19

    Oh I totally want to impress….and I don’t wear make up either!

    Seriously though, someday I will be too old and feeble to do anything that resembles gymanastics. You and I can use our computer skills and type up the program….oo oo ooo….and even print it!!!

    p.s. Benjamin is so sad he’s missing the show

  2. melanie
    Jun 05, 2008 @ 09:01:01

    you are a huge nerd! I can’t believe you are even giving this a second thought let alone a worry. Seriously, its meant to be fun! I mean really I think our family is doing a song from High School Musical. How impressive is that. O.k. well I am going to coreograph it and it will be practiced to perfection but really who’s judging? (I did invite Simon but I don’t think he can make it, maybe I’ll have to settle with Randy or Paula) love ya!

  3. Julie
    Jun 05, 2008 @ 10:27:22

    I loved this post because I TOTALLY know what you’re talking about and all the people you’re talking about. That should be a great show. Someone has got to video tape this, it will be a family classic for generations! Great idea Catherine! I think your family is the only family I know who could pull a talent show off that would actually be cool.

  4. bythelbs
    Jun 05, 2008 @ 13:33:52

    “I am pretty handy after all”

    “I’m the sarcastic, snide one…”

    Maybe you could contruct a balcony of sorts from which to watch and comment on your siblings’ acts a la Statler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show?

    Just a thought.

    Or maybe you could just read this post to them, so they can all feel good about themselves for being so admired by their awesome sister and get a good laugh (because she’s such a fun and witty writer) at the same time.

  5. sallygirl
    Jun 05, 2008 @ 14:04:11

    The whole time I was reading I was thinking “MONOLOGUE!!!” or a poetry reading. But not like grownup poetry, childish, extreme poetry. I’m horrible with credits, so I’ll list you some titles and authors, not necessarily connected to each other.

    -Jack Prelutzky
    -Shel Sliverstein
    -Take Me Out to the Bathtub or I’m Still Here in the Bathtub
    -If I Were in Charge the Rules Would Be Different!

    Good luck! And just have fun. It is your family and they love you no matter what!

  6. chronicler
    Jun 05, 2008 @ 21:30:00

    Oh I love the balcony/muppets idea! Fab!

    Or you say you are clumsy… you could show them all how to fall down or trip with grace and poise! ;-D

    What fun to have such a wonderully large family!

  7. chronicler
    Jun 05, 2008 @ 21:30:35

    wonderfully large family. ugh. or you could teach me how to spell check before I hit send! 😉

  8. Tausha
    Jun 06, 2008 @ 13:42:42

    SO-I think that you should a fake body and perform surgical skills. You could blow them away with your knowledge in the medical field and all the medical words. I would be impressed.
    Your family loves you no matter what, but I can understand your predicament. If it was me-I would do a mime about my incredible shopping capabilities. You know show a clock that keeps going around and around and me keep handing out money like it’s my job. The bags keep stacking up on my arm and smile keeps getting bigger and bigger! I know that i would bring the house down!
    How fun this little talent show should be. I thought that “dan in real life” talent show was worth a giggle or two, random but great family memories. So no matter what you do-you will always have the memories!!

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