Vale, Oregon.

Hello again. 

I spent the entire day yesterday making sure I WOULD NOT FORGET THE LYRICS. 

Night of the local talent show. I have that notion I should not go. Just not show. Hello, chronic depression. Don’t be around all those people, stay home, stay home. 

Instead, I chose some somewhat dressy clothes. My shiny mauve tank top paired with a slinky purple jacket. over black pants. Hot and uncomfortable clothing is a must when performing. But the weather decided to scratch up a sort of rainy-ish day. It rained three whole drops. That’s so good for Eastern Oregon, you have no idea. 

I slapped some ancient makeup on my face and even today, my ears remain swollen and leaking pus from the earrings I had in for about five minutes. I’m allergic, have not been wearing earrings lately and my ears let me know it! But the point is– I got ready. I got gussied up. 

Off to the event. I ran over my song– Hallelujah, the Leonard Cohen song. I decided to do it a capella, didn’t try to find a track or someone to plunk it out on an instrument for me. As I mentioned in Talent Show, the post before this one, I ran across a blurb about this event quite late. And hey, what a challenge to sing that song a capella. Right? Right! Except people are not impressed with a capella, no matter what might be propagandized and featured. Unless it’s a group of people making mouth noises that sound like instruments while someone sings out front. [Pentatonix, for example] 

Now, in my group, was a comedian, a piano player who did America the Beautiful and a woman who wrote her own song and played it while strumming a guitar. I. Didn’t. Stand. A. Chance. Of getting the big prize or even a little one. That was my hot take. A local fave funny lady, a local fave guitar plucker and a local fave piano pounder. And some gal who sings or something.

No, she just sings. Doesn’t strum a guitar or wait for a track to play. Nope. Just sings, ya say? She stayed on key the whole time. But no guitar or piano. Doesn’t she have friends? Is she one of us? Who is that? I don’t know that last name…She was on key, at least. 

The kids got through their routines and numbers. Not all of them were cute. I applauded. Speechifying about the foundation hosting the event, which is fine. It’s positive and uplifting and seems to paint Vale as some sort of arts progressive…I can’t even finish that sentence. Anyway!


Back to the talent show!

The teens get through their sets. I really liked the boy who did La Vie En Rose, while backing himself on guitar. He liked my singing, so I’ll give him a shout out. He had this high sweet clear tenor. Just gorgeous for the most part. I’ve been watching Glee, again. Shhh. Stop giggling in my general direction. That high schooler reminded me of Kurt Hummel’s falsetto a bit. Kris Colfer is that actor? Okay!

On to my group. 

We all four manage to do our selections. Nobody really flubs up the entire evening, by the way. I was really proud of everyone. [I’m patting myself on the back here most of all.]

So I get up there. I let down my hair from the scrunchie I keep it in, as it’s long, hot and hot. Did I mention how hot my hair is if I leave it down? I TAKE THE STAGE. The hot lights. The nerves making me feel I can’t get a full breath. Then just performing. Letting that song flow out as it wishes. Hearing my voice hit every corner and cranny of that old theatre.

Don’t oversing it! Don’t show off! Control, baby! Control that big belty beast! Almost done! Don’t turn into Janis Joplin, do not do that!! This song needs that quiet brokenness to it…be a quiet broken singer or something! Control it, baby! That’s it. Almost done. There ya go. Take that bow. Is that a kid singing the chorus? I done okay! I didn’t suck! I. Didn’t. Suck!

Remembering the last movie I saw there was the Color Purple, with, oddly, my grandmother. Or was it? Cause memory is a tricksy bitch. 

So glad when it was done, and I didn’t have to worry anymore about REMEMBERING THE WORDS and NOT FUCKING UP. Hallelujah, indeedy. 

On to the prize portion of the show. 

Each person who participated got a sack full of stuff. Goodies donated from local merchants. And there were trophies. Nine of them for the three age groups. 

So the adults get called up, after the other groups get awarded their places and such. A hundred bucks for first place, by the way. 

I am awarded third place. The lady who did the quick story bit doesn’t place. I feel so odd. You really didn’t think you’d beat a song about a dead mother and a patriotic song, did you, says the woman running this. A version of that, but much nicer. For a second, yeah, I did think that…and then it went away because I know my town. She also, this woman running all this, said I sure had a set of pipes on me. Ah! I do. I can sing. Probably a lot better than I have ever written. Which is just me being a bitter hag and not having any belief in my writing abilities right now…yep.

After all, to take entire blame for something that doesn’t need an apology tour– I did just throw a song together and sang it a capella. I didn’t bother to try and find a track or someone to back me up.

I actually know a piano player who might have tinkled out the song for me as I warbled and burbled out front a bit. I’m sure we could have hammered out a three minute version easy-peasy. But. That’s really complicated that way. And…hey, resolving any of that would be so, like, adult or something. Eh!

I won’t go into small town politics or how they play a role in who gets what in a small town. 

To sum up, I wore an outfit that was too hot for this time of year and makeup that made my eyes itch. I also got through my song without falling off the tiny stage or forgetting the words. I got third place. I got a gift card to two local coffee places and a sack of stuff. I participated in a local event. I did something artsy! 


Thank you all for reading about my brief foray into the world of local talent shows. I never ever do community events. As I am horrifically shy, cash poor at present and pathologically allergic to others. Can’t stand crowds. But performing in front of one, that’s nothin’. Mingling afterward…HELP HELP HELP. 




2 thoughts on “Trophy

  1. Congratulations! Also, your writing is good–don’t let anyone (including yourself) tell you otherwise. It paints a clear picture of your experience. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Also, I personally am a sucker for a capella but this made me laugh really hard, “Except people are not impressed with a capella, no matter what might be propagandized and featured. Unless it’s a group of people making mouth noises that sound like instruments while someone sings out front.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh, thank you! I do have moments of utter ‘should give up’. Followed by ‘what if this chair came alive and attacked this grandmother…’ thought blips. But yes, that night was fun and not fun at all. If that makes sense.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.