Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pure and Easy

There's a great Who song called "Pure and Easy" that Pete Townshend said was the centerpiece of an entire concept album that never was (Lifehouse), which ultimately became Who's Next, which actually never included the song Pure and Easy anyway. (I know, it doesn't make sense to me either.) The concept was that the meaning of life could be found in a single musical note. I was thinking of that song tonight after watching Steffi perform in the school talent show.

Steffi's been in the talent show for a few years now, but always in a group. This year she decided to do a solo, singing This is Me from Camp Rock. When the subject of singing a solo first came up a couple months back, I told her I thought it was great and offered her encouragement. Meanwhile, back on planet worried parent, I'd have sidebar conversations with me wife. Sample conversation: (Me)"Is Steffi really going to do a solo?" (My wife) "Yes." It's not that she can't sing, it's just that she'd be standing alone in front of 300 or so neighbors, strangers, classmates, etc. You know how these things can go - kids freeze, music skips, words are forgotten, curtains don't fully close, crowds laugh and then turn angry,tomatoes are thrown.

Anyway, as the weeks passed, Steffi practiced, the sidebar conversations stopped, and we all looked forward to the show. At Thursday's rehearsal Steffi said she was so nervous she was shaking, but she sounded good and remembered all the words. At today's show, she and her Brownie troop did an act together, which was shortly followed by Jessica's Daisy troop doing a number called "Snuggle Puppy" that was as cute as it sounds. Then there was an intermission and a lots of acts before Steffi returned to the stage.

When it was her turn, Steffi walked up to the microphone, the spotlight shone, the karaoke music started, and she started singing. Then all of a sudden the music got really low. Steffi paused for a split second. It seems her mic was turned low so the sound guy turned her music lower. She quickly resumed singing as if the sound people really didn't just turn down her music several decibels while she was standing on stage alone for the first time in her life. She sang great, the crowd gave her a big cheer, and we all went out to celebrate afterward. She told us that she could have been better, and that she missed a cue later in the song and compensated by singing a little faster to catch up. She wasn't upset, and she explained everything very matter of factly. Three hours later she was flipping through a teen magazine looking for songs that she could sing at next year's talent show.

Stef's first solo performance. Pure and Easy.