Friday, April 29, 2011

Have you ever sang with the Devil in the hot spotlight?

There is a lady in our ward who works or volunteers with the Utah Festival Opera, here in Logan. She was responsible for getting a few "extras" to do a musical number for a fundraiser event. It would include dinner, a Big Band and a few musical numbers by, among others, Michael Ballam (You might remember him as Satan), who is a big part of the Utah Festival Opera organization. She called me one evening and asked if I would like to be one of these extras.

"You want me???"


"Are you sure???"


"Let me think about it and I will get back with you."

The number she wanted me to be in was a Sailor for "There is Nothing Like a Dame" from "South Pacific". The whole evening would be themed around the musical since it will be one of the plays that the Utah Festival Opera will be putting on later in the year.

This is something like I have never done before. I have sung in choirs, and even done a few solos, but I have never been in a play, let alone a musical. This was going to be a little acting, kinda. It would involve blocking, movement, costumes. It would involve CHOREOGRAPHY!!! It was going to involve people who were paying $65 a pop to go to this thing, who love Utah Festival Opera shows with real professionals. We were to be the main event! Me? Are you Serious?

So, I mention this to Lora, and after that, there was no way I was going to get out of it. And that was that. At least a couple of the sailor extras were friends from the ward. This was also something that they had never done before.

For your viewing pleasure, I present . . .

The evening was pretty fun. We were able to enjoy the whole Dinner and program for free, and we could bring in a guest for only $25. All three of us made a night of it with our wives, (Since, lets be honest, they were the main motivating factor here).

When we performed, I wasn't very nervous until the minute before we were up. We had practiced only the Thursday before and went through it a couple of times earlier that night. It went well I thought. It didn't seem like anyone messed up too badly. I remembered most of the lines and movements. All in all it went alright. We got a big applause. Lora said we were the best act of the night and it was good for us to be the last number. And I felt good about it up until I saw the video Lora had taken of us.

So, there are things called perceptions. These things, it turns out can be completely out of line with each other and even more so with reality. I don't mean to say that our number was actually bad. I bet most people will think it was pretty good, and it was rightly so that the audience liked us. The video showed me that my perceptions of two things were . . . lets just say, they were off somewhat.

The first is what I look like. I was trim and athletic in high school and stayed that way up until I hit about 30. Looking at the movie, all I could say was, "Wooohhh, hey there fatso!" Now, I know I'm not fat. I'm just heavier than my perception of my self. Even when I look in the mirror, I see more what I used to look like. I think it is pretty funny how we hold on to our youth so much like that.

The other perception that was "adjusted", if not completely shattered, was my abilities as a musical actor. I am not ashamed of my first performance. I think I did alright. I thought the other two from the ward did AWESOME, especially considering this is something we have never done before. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, when I look at the video, I don't see a sailor singing about the virtues of the fairer sex, so to speak. I see a guy who is anxious about messing up and looking at the leader of the group for his cues nearly the entire time.

Oh, and I apologize for mentioned leader's t-shirt riding up a few times. I'm sorry to say it isn't a pretty sight. You may even want to avert your eyes at the end.

Anyway, there you go. Some good blackmail material if you want it. But you may not be able to extort much from me, because I really don't have regrets, and it was a pretty fun night. Besides, not everyone can say they performed while accompanied by Satan.


  1. David, I thought you all did GREAT, especially considering how little you actually got to practice! It was SO fun and your number stole the show, really... although I might be just a bit biased.

    Once I found out about it, I was hoping beyond hope that Zeke would do it. It was so awesome! :) Thanks for a fun night! And I hope you don't mind... I'm linking your video to my blog because my video is really dark.

  2. You guys were great! Thanks for sharing the video.

  3. Lacy,

    I wish I could take credit for the title of the post, but that was all Lora's idea.