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It's A Musical Life.

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It’s a humid August night, and just by stepping outside you can feel condensation on your body. But even through these conditions, at Fountain Park in Piqua, the sight of boys and girls from the ages of 8 to 22 can be seen fixing wardrobe malfunctions, drenching their hair with hairspray, and fiddling with microphones. Because tonight is the night. Music Warehouse performance night.

For the last two months I have been going through practices three nights a week for two hours just for this week end; nights of pushing my body to keep dancing and singing myself hoarse. It is slow process. The choreography is fast and challenging and every night we would add even more to the show. At times I would feel discouraged because I had absolutely no idea what you were doing. Aimlessly flinging my arms trying to copy my neighbors and mumbling notes under my breath because you forgot the words. But those times of confusion paid off when I got an amazing feeling when I hit a note just right or got a difficult dance step perfectly. My director, Tom Westfall, made practice fun too. Somehow he cracked a joke just when we needed it. Whether it was when we were all discouraged because we couldn’t get something right, or when we were all at each other’s throats, he would make us all forget about what we were mad about and made us energized to keep going.

After all those practices, it finally was time for Park Week. In Music Warehouse, Park Week is legendary. It doesn’t matter what the forecast is, Park Week is always the hottest week of the year. It never fails. But it’s also the most exciting. We finally get to see what all the other groups have been working on. It’s hard work though. Our group’s two hour, three day a week practices are now five days a week, four hour practices. We only really work for an hour of that time, but when we do, it’s really difficult. Suddenly, we are out of the air conditioned practice space and on high risers vigorously dancing in 90 degree temperatures. But when I am not practicing I get to have fun with my friends and enjoy the other performances. Every day that I go to the park I get more and more excited and start anticipating about the show. But through all that excitement I get a little sad because in only a week, Music Warehouse is going to be over, and with that, my summer.

Then it was the night. Performance night. I put on the trademark show outfit of the yearly t-shirt and white shorts and shoes and then curl my hair and put in the “show choir bump”. I wait in the shelter house until it’s time to line up and when I do butterflies attack my stomach. I walk through the park to the pavilion and wait for the entrance music. The music cues and I run to my place on the stage. My song starts and the lights come up. I plaster on my show face. It is time. For the next ten minutes I have an out of body experience. All the practice, all the sweat, all the time you have spent on this performance has paid off. I dance until my muscles ache and sweat runs down my face and back and my face hurts from smiling, but I don’t care. I give the performance of my life and smile while doing it. Eventually our part of the show is over and I come back to earth. I now notice that my whole body hurts and my stage makeup and shirt is totally ruined from sweat. But I am still smiling. I try to keep quiet while I go back to the shelter house but it is hard. As soon as I and my friends go through the door we start laughing and talking, and we keep laughing and talking until it is time for bows. We line up again and run on the stage. I smile and take my bow. And then it’s over. I hug all my friends and tell them to keep in touch then I climb in my car and drive away and wait for next summer to do it all over again.

I’ve learned a lot from my experience at Music Warehouse. I’ve learned that you have to work hard to get a good end result and that it takes a lot of practice to get something right. I’ve also learned that if you look hard enough there are people somewhere that have the same interests as you and are just as big of a theater nerd as you are. I can’t wait for next year because I will be a part of the senior chorus and there will be costumes, harder choreography, and a partner to dance with. But for now I will just have to wait until school gets out for my summer, and my favorite thing, to start.





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