October 26, 2009

Thank You for the Music

My Broadway career ended at age eight when I became a dance class dropout. The reason for this eludes me to this day, as my mom insists that I had both talent and promise. However, I remember trading in my tap shoes for softball cleats; I guess I wanted to throw a ball rather than dance in one. Whatever the reason was, I’ve recently regretted ending my dance career prematurely. Now the closest I’ll ever get to living out my Broadway dream is stalking the actors at the stage door, shoving pens in their hands while simultaneously taking their photo and gushing over their incredible performances.

Despite my lack of dance experience, I’ve tried to live out my Broadway calling in non-dancing roles in school and community theatre productions of Peter Pan, Carousel, Into the Woods, and Little Shop of Horrors (thank goodness human-eating plants don’t dance). You’ll also find me singing “You Belong with Me” at the top of my lungs in the car, living room, or whenever someone mentions Kanye. I love doing karaoke, but it is often difficult to encourage friends to sing with me, let alone be seen with me in public while I sassily perform my rendition of “Summer Nights.” So it makes sense that when one of my sorority sisters expressed interest in going to karaoke night at Woodstock’s in Downtown Davis, I was absolutely ecstatic.

Last Wednesday, eight of us secured a table right in front of the karaoke stage, and we immediately began pouring over the song books. You know when you dance around with your friends, you’re singing your favorite songs together, but when you actually have a chance to sing for an audience other than your closet mirror you have no idea what to choose? I could have picked a crowd pleaser and encouraged everyone to get up and clap and bust a move (hello, Journey), or a favorite of mine, as it’s always been one of my dreams (I have a lot) to sing “Part of Your World” to people who appreciate the amazing talent of Jodi Benson. As this would only have been self-indulgent, I decided to choose something a bit more universal. One of the girls exclaimed “Elysa! Do something by Abba!” Without hesitation, I scribbled down my name and “Mamma Mia” on the sign-up sheet. Panicking for an instant that I only knew the musical version and not the original, I thanked the karaoke gods for implementing the lyrics-on-screen feature.

We all had an absolute blast. It may not have been the Broadway debut that I had envisioned for so many years, but living out my dream in front of a group of supportive friends who cheered and clapped when I took my bow was more than good enough for me.

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