Summertime Blues and Little Shop of Squandered Dreams

8 Jun

I am beginning to realize how incredibly fruitless my first few weeks of summer as a college graduate have been. Upon returning home, I promptly ordered CPA exam and GMAT preparation materials. Despite my good intentions, the packages still remain untouched and unopened while my Netflix account reveals countless hours of nostalgic indulgence streaming old episodes of Rugrats.

When my parents used to control my summers, I admit that my days were more productive. Having two working parents, I experienced various day camps, spending my time oil painting at art camp, dissecting squids at science camp and memorizing the books of the Old Testament at Christian camp, which was strange only because my family is not particularly religious.

In an attempt to foster a sense of creativity and a passion for performance, my parents also enrolled my sister and me in a local theater, excuse me, theatre camp. Our teacher loved musicals, all musicals, as evident by her decision to produce the grossly inadequate sequel, Grease 2. As a theatre major at the local university, she considered herself and artist and as an artist, she took many artistic liberties.  She rebelliously altered the script of Grease 2 with the addition of a dorky version of the Pink Ladies known as “the Lavender Ladies.” (Yes, I was cast as a “Lavender Lady.” Typecasted much?) She even dared to change the iconic lyrics of the music of West Side Story to make the songs more PG. Think: “When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way from your first DAY OF SCHOOL to your last dying day.” (For those of you unfamiliar with the song, the censored word is “cigarette.”)

My big break came when I was cast as the female lead in our version of Little Shop of Horrors (see previous image.) The teacher must have recognized my X factor, because she overlooked my pitchiness and overall tone-deafness and gave me the role of Audrey anyway. We children practiced for weeks, trying to master our carefully choreographed routines. I even took the dances to the next level, adding in extra awkward steps here, and a few uncoordinated slips there. After blood, sweat and literal tears, the day of the show arrived and despite my nerves, I learned I had nothing to fear. I could tell the audience loved my performance – those first graders laughed at all of my jokes. Nailed it! I began to fantasize about my undoubtedly successful career on Broadway.  A star was born.

Unfortunately my parents never sent me back to that camp. They probably thought that I had already mastered the craft.


By the way, here is a video of my favorite song from the show. Imagine a bunch of elementary school children singing this, with less soul and even less skill.


One Response to “Summertime Blues and Little Shop of Squandered Dreams”

  1. gwaceez June 19, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    little shop.. little shop of horrors! ❤

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