Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Karaoke, Gleeks and Memories

You know what today is?

It's Tuesday. It's September 21, and it's the season premiere of Glee.

That's right Glee.

And I am fricking pumped.

Sure there are you haters out there. You people who find the non 24-esque lack of shit being blown up before you on the TV screen not good enough to waste an hour of your time on every week, but for me, it's something to look forward too.

It's not just about getting lost in the oh-so-talented mixes of music and spiteful "Sue C's Its". It's not just new takes on old classics and rival choral dance numbers mixed in with every day high school fodder.

I was a real life Gleek. I was a cheerleader and I was in my high school chorus and Jazz choir. I was like the very Cheerios they show every week in their uniforms, attending rehearsal and loving every minute of it.

I was in chorus for as long as I can remember. Starting as young as elementary school with assembly like sign-ups, with no one getting turned away to high school where you tried out and got turned down if you didn't have the ability.

I did singing competitions in high school. Nothing as fun or dramatic as the Regional’s and Sectionals they portray on Glee, but we had District and SEMSBA where we were paired alone with a panel of judges and the missing part of a 4 part harmony, usually in Latin, to fill in.

There was a big trip we took in 1995 to Virginia Beach to compete. THAT was an adventure. Put a bunch of drama and band and chorus folks on buses and ship them out of state and wackiness certainly ensued.

Our costumes weren't as exciting as they are on TV. We had very matronly black skirts for the ladies and Pilgrim looking white shirts that were made of the thinnest, cheapest material ever. Rounded collars, oh they were hideous.

Those of us who were also in band (and yes of COURSE I was one of them, being the drum captain my senior year and everything) had these ever-so lovely bright blue waist coats we would often wear over our choral uniforms during the band portions of our concerts. Sexy.

I was Little Miss High School back in the day. In every club you could imagine. Not only in the music programs, but I was Editor of the school newspaper (shocking I know), in the Environmental Club, Model UN, Harvard Model Congress, The Executive Board that ran our class. I was a cheerleader and played soccer. I even played basketball one season. I did it all. Musicals, Jazz Choir, Concert Band, Marching Band, Chorus. I was a one-woman Yearbook brigade.

And out of it all, my most prominent memories are of being involved with the music program. Of exactly what Glee tries to show week after week.

Just like on the show we had a wide range of people involved. There were those people who likely took the class just for credits to not take a "real" class (even though they totally enjoyed it), there were those who were full-on superstars in the making. (One of which now appears on the show "The Office"...true story)

But we had our little cliques in there too, although it wasn't as interesting as it is on Glee. It was more per vocal range. The Alto's, Soprano’s etc. Nothing as thrilling as the Diva or the Gays. That would have made it way more interesting for sure. I'm a fan.

I mean we had them sure, but back in the mid to late 90's in high school, people weren't as secure in themselves to be as out there as they are today. Although the slushie-throwing dumpster-tossing happened in it's own way. You met at the flagpole, at 3 o'clock.

So needless to say, tonight's premiere of Glee has me excited. I get to relive my heydays of Chorus. I get to remember the solo's I was chosen to sing (and I had a lot if I do say so myself), I get to remember the rehearsals and the hideous uniforms. But most of all, I get to remember the camaraderie.

The closest to being a Gleek now I get is the occasional bought of karaoke (although I did have my American Idol Audition stint a few years back, but I digress). Karaoke does not a Diva make.

Well, maybe...

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