Gong!

Posted: November 17, 2016 in Blog
Tags: , , , , , ,

Elementary school in the district ended at fifth grade.  Middle school, or junior high, was grades six through eight.  I was excited, and not just a little trepidatious, about moving along.  We were also allowed to put on a little celebratory show, the Fifth Grade Follies.  It was to be like a variety or talent show, though there would be no judging.  Just as when I wanted to play Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, I was eager to have a role in this.  I don’t recall whose idea it was – my teacher, my mother, myself?  But I ended up as emcee of the event.

I do recall that my mother suggested I conduct myself in a manner like Chuck Barris of The Gong Show.  I did not know much of Chuck Barris, then, except that I loved The Gong Show.  My mother coached me to come out, doing some odd clapping and changing out outrageous hats, telling crappy jokes.  I even had some assistants who’d walk by with “Boo” cards, encouraging the audience to get in on the fun.

And it was fun.  We had several different acts, many of them were just kids dressing up and dancing and lip syncing to popular songs.  A group of boys were performing to KISS, and they were a bit stoic.  I recall being in the wings during one rehearsal, just jiving and working my little butt off, and the teacher waved me out onto the stage.  I became the example for the fledgling rockers.  This lesson came back in my middle school Drama class – don’t be afraid to exaggerate movements on stage.

I was asked to join the KISS group, and though I really wanted to, I had my emcee duties to fulfill.  I felt a little protective of the goings-on, much as, I suppose, was Barris with his various television “babies”.  It proved a joy all around, and I wish we had it video recorded.

Still, I didn’t end up in a career in theater or television.  I may have been contacted by the CIA when I graduated college, but I really can’t comment on that.

Please be sure to check out my debut urban fantasy novel, Dance of the Butterfly.  It is the first in a planned series.  Thank you!

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