Place: Gym floor (covered with a huge green tarp, so as not to scuff the precious Missile Basketball/Volleyball court.
People around me: Everyone from K-5, which is about 100 kids or so. We're all sitting on our knees. Kindergartners in the front row, followed by each grade sequentially. I'm about 3 rows deep, guess that means I'm in 2nd grade. It's dark and dimmed in the gym for only being 10am on a Friday in early spring. The teachers form a solid line behind us, they're pointing at us to "be quiet, pay attention, and BEHAVE." I'm pretty much convinced that they have been selected to be teachers because they possess severely pointy fingers to single us out from the crowd when we're getting ourselves into trouble. They're all excellent pointers.
Ok, now that that's all been explained, what on earth could possibly be happening in front of us? Well.....it's the High School Musical!!!!! It's not only the musical, it's my brother up there! On that huge stage. Without his glasses, looking like a true orphan. I can't believe it! He knows all of his lines! He sings solos, he dances, he's OLIVER TWIST!
A few months back, he came from school white as a ghost. Mom asked how the auditions went, and my brother, the skinny, pale, knock-kneed, near-sighted young guy said in the quietest voice, "I'm Oliver." Mom says something like, well...you're just going to have to walk back up to school at tell them no. My brother, Andy, was in 8th grade at the time, and was just trying out for the background characters. He accidentally got picked to be Oliver. Our whole family was in shock.
Soon, we started to learn the songs along with Andy. I vividly remember seeing the black and white script and songbook appearing in all sorts of places. Bathroom floor, top of the tv, in the car. And then it was gone. I didn't see the book, I didn't hear any tunes coming from anywhere in the house. It was as if the play had already happened and we'd forgotten about it.
But that Friday morning it all came back to me. "Food Glorious Food" was sung and I knew some of the lines and sang along! What a feeling! To know that my brother was on the stage singing and dancing in front of people and doing it rather well! I had this overwhelming feeling of possession. It's the best way I can describe it! That was MY BROTHER up there and he lived in the same house as me and I knew some of the songs the cast sang, and I just knew he was amazing up there. That 'little kid' sense of pride was so overwhelming and so great! It felt like I was going to explode with happiness!
Later that night, I got to watch him do the whole musical for a real audience and it was pretty great! His little voice was so high when he sang "Where Is Love," he even closed his eyes when he sang! I was so impressed with the whole thing. The sets, the costumes, even the make-up, and especially the kids who got to spray their hair gray. It was all amazing.
Nowadays I don't get that sense of pride as much as I did in the 2nd grade. But that's ok...thinking of that day sitting on my knees and watching my brother change into an orphan for an hour was just perfect.