Friday, July 28, 2006

A Pasadena all-girl’s elementary school put on a little show this week. Their summer drama class performed musical numbers from three Broadway plays. The kids were singing and dancing in full costume, doing their best to remember their funny lines and complex choreography moves. The show was as adorable as you can imagine. And in case you can’t imagine, all the kids’ parents were there, armed and ready with their fancy digital video cameras, capturing every moment.

Some of the girls had genuine talent; others wowed the audience with their attitude. But they all seemed to be having fun, thanks in great part to their drama teacher. She stood on the side of the stage, smiling and laughing with them, and occasionally nodding encouragement to the shy ones. It was obvious the kids loved her.

And it reminded me of the plays I did as a kid. Thank goodness I didn’t grow up in this video age, so I don’t have to relive my goofy acts, but just replay them in my imagination. Maybe they wouldn’t that embarrassing. In any case, I wasn’t going to pursue acting, but that’s not what these things are about. I remember how much I appreciated the good teachers I had, the ones who helped to give me the self-confidence to perform publicly. Most of those Pasadena girls won’t be destined for Tony Awards, but I guarantee they won’t forget this exciting chapter of their lives. Or at least not the songs.

The numbers were pretty catchy: “It’s a Hard Knock Life” from Annie, “Forget About the Boy” from Thoroughly Modern Millie and Hairspray’s “Can’t Stop the Beat”. But by the curtain call, I had a different song running through my head. The tune was interrupted by one of the beaming parents who peered away from his camera long enough to look at me and say, “Which girl’s yours?”

I pointed to the kids’ instructor, my Cute Girlfriend.

As his video recording resumed, so did the chorus to the song in my head: Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher.”


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