As some of you may have read from my status update on Facebook, I now consider myself a full-fledged GLEEk. If you are not familiar with the term, a "GLEEk" is someone who is a big fan of the new Fox show, "Glee". And oh yes, I certainly am.
This news may not come as a big surprise to anyone who's known me since high school - I was one of those "drama geeks", or as some called it, "chorus geeks". I was the type of girl who would spend her lunch hour not in the cafeteria, but in the chorus room, listening to Simon & Garfunkel and the Doobie Brothers. But not when those were okay to listen to; this was 1986. And all of my friends were chorus geeks too. We had great fun.
I suppose I come by my singing talent naturally; my Grammie was my grade-school music teacher and in her heyday had a very beautiful alto voice, and my dad was in a barbershop chorus in Green Bay for many years - the Baylanders. He had a lovely, rich baritone (he could also whistle like nobody's business, something I'm jealous of to this day). All three of my mom's brothers are super musical, whether it be fronting bands or singing in church. Or sometimes both. So when my sister and I started showing talent, no one was surprised. I was always really self-conscious about it - I think Jen (my sister) was too. I'd let my nervousness get the best of me, so even though I could belt it around my friends and family, the folks at Solo/Ensemble didn't really 'get it'. I fared far better in the duets and trios (and large choruses) - I guess I just needed the backup.
That's why "Glee" is so wonderful! It's certainly an accurate (maybe TOO accurate) portrayal of how awful high school can be, but these singers have no self-esteem issues! They're good and they know it! It's really fun watching the kids just enjoying themselves and it's obvious they've had a lot of practice in real life (like, say, Broadway). It's great to see that, even though they're the misfits of the school, they know that they excel in this one area (the show is also hilarious, with many other plots and sub-plots, and stars the FABULOUS Jane Lynch of "Best in Show" and "40 Year Old Virgin" fame. LOVE HER!).
I did finally overcome my shyness about performing - I made my solo debut at the age of 33 in "Cole", a musical I was in with Fond du Lac Community Theatre. It was great fun, and it's a shame that it took me so long to realize how much fun performing can be (but just like high school, I still love working backstage more). :D
P.S. That's me on the left and Jen (my sis) on the right - we're the Beauty School Angels (with rollers on our heads) from Grease, performed by Ashwaubenon High School, 1986.