You could say that I have been in the “arts” in some form for most of my life.
In my grade-school days it was mostly music, with some actual art thrown in here and there since I was pretty good at drawing things. At the end of my 5th grade year, I was tested somehow for musical talent and it was determined that I would be best at either playing the drums or the trombone. (Why can’t I remember what they did to test me? What diabolical scheme was construed at that moment in time that has this former 5th grader unable to remember this event? Hang on, a distant flicker of a memory is presenting itself. I think I remember…..an acronym, though what it stood for is beyond me: A.G.E.) My parents took one look at those test results and I suddenly became very aware and convinced that drums weren’t nearly as cool as the trombone was.
As you are already aware from an earlier visit, I picked up acoustic guitar somewhere around my 8th grade year. In my junior year of high school, I was presented with the opportunity to learn bass guitar for Stage Band and still play to this day. Amazingly, I wasn’t able to do much of anything with drums until six or seven years ago. But I can now say that I have been a back-up drummer at some point for the Music Team at my church. I guess you could say that my test results have come back…. positive.
In my late teens and early twenties, I was involved in a little acting through a college I attended and the youth group of my church at the time. These roles were very minor, but needless to say, I rather excelled at the acting roles that brought out my dry sense of humor. The college experience was for a madrigal dinner where I said a few very important lines and sang a whole lot of bass. The youth group involvement was for skits that we did, and that’s where most of my dry sense of humor got to shine. During this time, too, I was involved in some acapella singing through that same college (that Christmas madrigal dinner that I mentioned) and a male acapella group in my church that I sang bass in. I miss those days! The highlight of my days in Nu Creation (the male acapella group) was two events. The first was singing the National Anthem at a Detroit Tigers game (hot and humid and dripping sweat, but what a rush it was standing in the center of the Detroit Tigers baseball field, belting out an acapella version of the National Anthem that really knocked the socks off of those who heard it).
The second event was no less memorable. It was a televised event, occurring on the campus of Michigan State University. The college’s basketball coach was retiring, so they were bringing in players from his first ten years of coaching to play against players from his second ten years of coaching. What made this such a major event was the fact that Magic Johnson was there. He went to MSU and had played on the team while there, so all of the local television stations were filming the whole thing live–especially him. So we made our way out onto center court in front of 18,000+ people and sang the same version of the anthem. Know what’s really cool about that event? I got my hands on a copy of the television footage of us singing. Granted, it’s still on a VHS tape, but I’ve still got footage! Gotta get that old-school technology out of my house and transfer that onto something I can actually use (we haven’t had a VHS player for years).
Some things just can’t help but get relived–a lot.