Sunday, June 03, 2007

Spectacle du lycee...the big show

Talk about a big day...last Friday, first baseball and then, in the evening, the long awaited talent show where kids put their talents on display for the general public. The acts on the program had been in the works all year, mostly practiced once or twice a week just like our atelier theatre was done.

The venue was a nearby sports center.

A stage was in place complete with lighting and sound equipment. The program featured some kareoke, some live music, stand up comedy, mime artists, jugglers, Polynesian belly dancing, flag dancing,

an ensemble dance number from the movie "Grease" (the fifties still live here), a reggae and percussion group with a world beat.
Yours truly was also on the program. I used nearly all of my fifteen minutes of fame, playing my own material. The audience was beautiful; they gave me a lot of love.

It was a terrific evening for me and it gave me a chance to make a public gesture of gratitude to the kids and the entire school for having hung in there with me. It also allowed me to see these kids in a setting outside the classroom, doing extraordinary things with talents that never see the light of day in the classroom.
I left at midnight with the event was still going strong. A rock band had taken the stage about twenty minutes earlier...the evening has shifted into an elemental gear. As I walk to my car I see lots of kids in little shadowy groups here and there on the grassy area surrounding the auditorium. Faces momentarily flash into view only to flicker out leaving the lit point of a cigarette in their place.
I hear the voices of teenagers, murmuring, sometimes shouting, laughing. They are observing the fifty meter rule announced at school the previous morning.
The rule basically comes down to this: Good behavior is required. If you want to do something stupid or maybe even illegal, do it least fifty meters from the building. Far enough to be out of sight but not so far as to be out of reach.
I stow my guitar in the back seat of the car and decide to have a cigarette before going home. I lean against the car, the muffled pulse of the music sounds almost like a heartbeat. I hear somebody under the nearby trees belch, a bit later there is a guttural whoop, then laughter. I feel as though I could be sitting in some kind of preserve listening to the wildlife.
To the east the rising moon looks full but it is covered by a cloudy gauze which helps preserve an air of mystery about her and all of us down here. I look at the moon and think how she is chasing a sun that has only just climbed to it's highest point in the Oregon sky...for now, the moon is in France and so am I.


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