In my tempestuous youth during the early 1990's I decided that I wanted to join the exclusive, let's call it "TC" elite choir in my high school. The teacher, let's call her Mrs. Rather, said I needed to join the Show Choir, let's call it "SOS", first. I acquiesced to her request.
Being a shy and tall girl, it was natural for me to be in the back row, and that is where I stayed. The more talented and gregarious girls got to sit in front. That was fine for me most of the time.
Now on "Glee" the hit-show on Fox, the Glee Club is not cool, but those can-do and oh-so-talented plucky kids all get along and have a common goal, to be the best. My SOS experience was not so plucky and much more real. Many kids could not break into song with perfect pitch at the drop of a hat. So the more talented ones thought and made it painfully clear they were better than everyone else. Hence, a mini-clique system (very similar to the Caste system) was formed in our very status conscious upper-middle-class high school.
Here is where it gets downright surreal. The outfits they made us wear would make even the most talented, but rational and sane person, say "Hell NO". Our school colors are green and gold and looking back on it gold would have been a better choice but we went with bright 'kelly green' outfits. Our formal wear was the most hideous combination of sequins and chiffon, think of the "Jolly Green Giant" but with sparkle and a lot of shame. The men had to wear the green in the form of sequined bow ties and cummerbunds, at least they got to wear hip slimming black pants. Our casual wear, of which we were encouraged to wear to classes, was a SOS t-shirt featuring music notes and an out-and-proud Treble Clef. When we needed to perform in our casual wear but the gym was too cold, we could rely on our trusty black silk jacket with the same out-and-proud SOS symbols. Nothing said "ridicule me and beat me up" like those clothing items. They were automatic kick-me signs for the days we were required to wear them.
I will say that all of these outfit choices were made democratically, although with Mrs. Rather heavily influencing our decisions. The end result shows another sad example that democracy does not work!!!
To say the music we performed was bland is an understatement. It could only be called vanilla if it is not the real vanilla with vanilla beans but only vanilla artificial flavoring.
On "Glee" those kids (and adults) get to sing and dance to many a fantastic song be it from Broadway, or from Beyonce's latest album. The choice of music for the show seems to be based on whether it is a good song or not, even if it was controversial, you knew it was a damn good song. I wonder how many actual show choirs get to do that? Ours certainly did not.
Our go-to hits for SOS seemed to be written in the 1950's and 1960's and be medleys of "Purple People Eater" and "Under The Boardwalk". I think we were rather ignored when performing at the State Fair, except for the parents with all their cameras and video equipment there to capture our crime on entertainment.
These were the days of IRAQ-I and America was feeling rather patriotic, so we sang "I'm Proud To Be An American". Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin would tear-up and be so proud and I am sure Fox News would have been happy to show our family-friendly fare on a slow news day.
One of the few times I was in front row of the choir was cause I could do the "running man" dance move, yeah, I had skills. But it had to be to "Hangin' Tough" in an anti-drug medley. That was what a controversial and hip song was for my high school show choir, a lame boy band semi-hit. Yep, none of the cool kids wanted to be front and center for a "New Kids On The Block" moment at the school pep rally. I am assuming the anti-drug message got through loud and clear, cause after wards, the kids all seemed to head to their pot dealers to help them forget what they just experienced.
There it is, my show choir experience. Super-lame and embarrassing for all concerned. Something that got me motivated into writing this is that it is cathartic to put down in words what was such a horrifying experience, and now I can post this to Facebook where all my old alumni "friends" can see how much I have (not) moved on...
But please note, I am doing this because my therapist said it would help take away my nightmares where I singing "Hanging Tough" and am doing the "running man" in front of the school assembly naked except for that black silk jacket.
I am very glad it is not like this on "Glee", because if it was, the ratings would have been terrible, worse than terrible, canceled immediately terrible, "Cop Rock" terrible!
And maybe the creators of this fine show are also recovering "show choir" members and want to revise their history to something actually entertaining.