I had entered a singing competition at high school.
I had rehearsed for three weeks and had chosen Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat it’. I was confident. I had invited my best friend and had promised him a part of the prize money if I won. I was confident. I was cocky.
I had the whole Michael Jackson look- multi-zip jacket, white glove and the wet curl to boot. As I slid onto the stage the crowd went wild. It was my moment and I belted out the first few lines but I sounded like a highly-inebriated Barry White and the parody was not lost to the crowd.
The noise steadily died down with each note and was replaced by an incessant string of boos that reached a crescendo when I was mid-song. As the boo-brigade amped the jeers a steady stream of tears dribbled down my face and I could have sworn through the haze of tears I could see my friend had joined in the booing. He knew he wouldn’t be making money tonight and clearly he was more loyal to the loot than a bumbling Michael Jackson wannabe. Judas!
I beat a hasty retreat to backstage as they started to shout ‘beat it, beat it’. My choice of song had been used to hound me off the stage and constricted my singing career to less than three minutes. Nowadays I watch Pop Idols and realise that I wouldn’t even make it to the Wooden Mic stage.
After the singing implosion and the wounds had healed I tried my hand at dancing. That too didn’t end well. The best guy in our dancing group failed to make it past the preliminaries of a dancing competition and this sent a clear message to us mere mortals not to try.
There surely should be something more positive I’m remembered
I was also quite good at spotting punchlines and would always be the first to let out a horselaugh before anyone else. But that surely would be an embarrassment to my kids if it was on my headstone.
I hadn’t ever heard of an awards ceremony for punchline-spotters nor people who are magnificent at wearing hats.
How about they organise a contest for people with no talent – A Lack of Talent Show. If you think it’s more difficult to win a singing competition think again. The sheer volume of people without talent - people who suck at something - is surely an ingredient for a really tough competition.
Imagine rehearsing to be bad at something. That could turn out to be a real comedic undertaking. I can see the talent-depraved trying to dance like they had two flat left feet, singing like a toad at the end of a heavy shower and lip-syncing like they had five lips.
We would descend on the venue with a dream to be really bad at something. We would shame the Wooden Mic contestants and put them in their place and show them who really should be contesting for that Wooden Mic.
We would show our families that we are good at something by being really bad at something. We would throw the book out of the window.
And if anyone dies from watching our performances doctors would probably say the symptoms of their deaths are similar to thousands others who were listening to the latest Celine Dion album. Slow and painful!