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School talent shows: spreading Christmas terror for eons

December 20, 2011

There are several clues that school talent shows are not exactly quality controlled-the lack of a formal audition is the number one indicator for me. But when their backdrop provides you with an illustration of fire from the gods scorching Santa’s Workshop to nothing, you kind of have to wonder. And possibly consider taking cover. And wishing you’d grabbed the armor, helmets and gas masks from the garage. (Doesn’t everyone have those handy? Just us?)

I’m just pleased as punch that the talent show is so long that they can’t use it as a way to trick us parents into attending PTA meetings since they hold it in the morning for TWO DAYS prior to Christmas break. Bratchild twirls and sings in the school chorus and since she was selected for a solo-that meant I got to attend both days. Merry Christmas to me.

I should go ahead and say that since I was born in 1977 that makes me a child of the 80’s. In the 80’s we were pretty loose with our definition of the word talent and talent could even be used to qualify lip sycning. To the point where there was a tv show dedicated to the “talent” of lip syncing. It was called “Puttin’ on the Hits.” I am not making this up.

Now I am of the opinion that just because someone wants to do something, it doesn’t mean they are good at it. I also stand by the belief that you shouldn’t get a trophy just for showing up and if you want to be good at something you should practice. Therefore, if you want to be in the talent show, you should have a talent. I was a little annoyed when the choir teacher, who held solo auditions,  ended up dividing the solos so several people sang six words. I think it was because so many people auditioned and she’d rather have four soloists and ten people with hurt feelings than one soloist and thirteen people with hurt feelings. That’s about all I can figure anyways.

But the lack of auditioning was apparent everywhere else. Look, I am super easily amused and I am all about kids having a good time and acting like, well, kids BUT if your child gets up there and stands and doesn’t do anything and is obviously miserable-why would you make them do that? Better yet-if your child is murdering a violin-why wouldn’t you say let’s maybe wait a year and practice some more rather than letting them get on stage and do a bad job?

On the other hand, the enforcement of real, practiced talents would take a lot of the joy from the occasion. I, for one, almost peed on myself when a little boy “made it rain.” He danced to a rap song and at the end, threw handfuls upon handfuls of fake money into the crowd which sent the kindergarteners into a riot-they didn’t know it wasn’t real money. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen three teachers try to stop a bunch of six-year olds in their pursuit of free money.

It also would obliterate these kind of conversations:

Me: I can’t believe that bouncing a ball is a talent. Just because I can’t do it doesn’t make it a talent.
J: It’s called dribbling. Some people pay lots of money for it. They’re called the NBA.
Me: Still…
J: I know it’s not as sparkly as things you like but it is a talent.

But, seriously, how are the kids not terrified of the ball of fire hurtling towards the North Pole?

Does your school do talent shows?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2011 1:25 PM

    They had a talent show in my middle school. I remember a kid doing karate moves and another playing the guitar. That was about it. We weren’t a very talented bunch.

  2. December 20, 2011 9:16 PM

    My daughters are both truly amazing singers. It’s not just me saying it – it’s the universal truth. Unfortunately we haven’t figured out what my son’s talent is. He dances like a double-jointed spaz, so there might be a career for him there. My favorite talent show featured a boy who was trying to solve a Rubik’s. It was really exciting for the first three minutes or so, but then he refused to leave the stage. He kept saying he was close. People started talking. It got very awkward. After what felt like a half hour they finally played some transition music and escorted him off the stage.

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