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Gig This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

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     Walking up the steps into a dark hangar, with the lights off and the heavy raggedy curtain down, I see nothing but hear a little. I hear the announcer, but don’t understand him. I can feel my heart beat harder and faster with each beat.

The curtain opens, applause begins and the lights ignite - it’s time to jam. We start with the rhythm section doing their thing and setting the mood; an upbeat swing as we get ready to take off. Three-two, three-four, four-two, three-four, badoo bop! We have lift off! I start playing the melody as the heart-pounding and landing gear both subside. We go through the head of the piece twice, steadily gaining altitude to set ourselves up.

Bahdway badoo - piano solo break - let the show begin! The full sound of the rhythm section comes back two measures later to back up the pianist as he starts with simple twirls. Then he really treats the observers with crazy spins as he throws in a lick of a different song, but fits it in place like a piece of a puzzle; the crowd hears it and goes wild.

Time for me to take the controls as the pianist calms and takes a back seat. Another solo break and I take it. Two measures later, rhythm comes back for refuel and support. I have the controls and I’m lovin’ it. I’m flying smoothly. The higher we go, the more interesting the piece gets - complicated flips and loops, this is amazing! The crowd is really into it, bobbing heads and tapping feet on the beat screaming “Yeah!” as I throw in the throttle for a quick turn back into the melody just long enough to remind everyone where I’m coming from, then back to loop-de-loops.

When I’m done I signal the band to come back to earth and put the landing gear on. We drop back into the head one more time as the runway is right below us. The oncoming applause cushions us for a cool, soft landing as we hold out the last note until I cut the engine.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the September 2005 Teen Ink Nonfiction Contest.






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