Oh. My. Oz.

What the ?
Since I'm up to my neck in ghosts and zombie tarot these days, I thought it appropriate to go completely nutters and share a wee story about how I ruined the Wizard of Oz for a roomful of people. I know there's no correlation, just go with it, I'm on deadline here.

I was a shy teenager. Stop laughing. And new to my high school in Southern Oregon after spending most of my childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area (East Bay, yo) so I thought what better way to make new friends than to show off my pipes in their fancy choir. I was a stupid child. Ever see Glee? Yeah. That's not me. So when the call went out in the regular slum choir, I raised my hand to audition. I was looking forward to choosing the music, bonding with others over our mutual love of song and jazz hands - go with me here - and I was ready to dazzle.

With not a whole lot of time to prepare, I settled on Over the Rainbow. A classic beloved by millions and a real tearjerker. I arrived, sheets in hand and waved off the pianist when she tried to grab them from me. I was going solo. I got this.

Planting my feet firmly apart and taking a deep breath, I shoved my Madonna knock-off plastic bracelets up my arm and belted out the most upbeat, jazziest, hip-swinging, fast tempo rendition of Over the Rainbow that anyone at Hidden Valley High School had ever seen. As the committee looked on in stunned silence at my complete misinterpretation of a classic, I waited for at least one person to stop twitching.

"That was the stupidest thing I've ever seen," one teacher said.

"Did you take a little something before coming in here?" said another. This was a very laid back school...

I think another teacher started crying.

I made it in.

And transferred to an astronomy class two weeks later due to creative difficulties. Go figure.

11 comments:

  1. You know, an upswing version of that song would be much better then Judy Garland caterwauling the thing to death the way she did....

    I've heard many versions of that from many jazz singers... Jane Monheit, Stacey Kent, Nikki Yanofsky come to mind... and they can breath life into it. Put it into the hands of a Garland (the Evil One) or any of her progeny (the Evil Juniors), and it becomes fingernails on a blackboard.

    Oh, and I can't stand the film. For one thing, the real good guy in the film is the Witch, and she dies. For another, it's a musical, and musicals are from the seventh circle of Hell.

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  2. I worked it, baby, and the WWW was totally framed.

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  3. It was the Wizard in the conservatory with a bottle of 1892 Cherlot.

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  4. I've never seen the movie... at least not the entire movie. I've heard of tales of dead bodies on the set and such, but I'm still shrugging my shoulders at it.

    Gigi, Camalot and Breakfast at Tiffanys, are my favorite musicals. I grew up with my mom watching them, even the Elvis movies.

    I would've applauded you, Stace!!

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  5. Munchkins have all the fun, what dead bodies?

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  6. Somehow this makes my own choir flashbacks less painful. Nah, still hot pokers in my soul. ;)

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  7. Thanks for no audio clip. I don't think my collection would have survived the trauma ;)

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  8. Where's your sense of adventure, Bug? ;)

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  9. I would pay good money to see video of this. :)

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