Don’t Stop Believing …

Hello. My name is mindbling, and I’m a Gleekaholic. I have been a Gleekaholic for about five months now. I don’t talk about myself much (HAHAHAHAHA) so this is a difficult admission for me, but I think I have a problem.

I have been a musical theater junkie my whole life. Here is something you can file away in your mindbling stalker files: I actually went to school for musical theater. High school. I was a proud attendee of the Pittsburgh High School of Creative and Performing Arts. From a very young ago, I wanted to be a star.

I have vivid memories of roller skating in my basement, my mother’s one-shoulder disco shirt flapping around my knees, singing The Pointer Sisters “He’s So Shy” into a clothes pin. I was always in search of a captive audience. During one of my more memorable Christmases I stood up on my chair, during dinner no less, and belted out every single word to the Facts of Life theme song.

My Strawberry Shortcake record player got upgraded to a cassette player with a record button. This began my life-long love affair with my own voice. Hours upon hours were spent in my room, singing my heart out. I wrote my own music, too. I was sure Sea Monkey, Do Monkey and My Sister Smells Like Mustard were going to be big hits (YOU try rhyming stuff with mustard. It is NOT EASY).

It wasn’t too long after this that I made the leap from home performer to bona fide stage star (I use the term ‘star’ loosely). I hit the stage at the tender age of eleven, and didn’t look back. The rest of my youth was a swirl of auditions, rejections, rehearsals, lessons, summer camps, finding out the hard way that most of the boys I hung out with were gay, and doing shows.

The first time I got good and drunk I was 14, and at a cast party for a production of H.M.S Pinafore, the Gilbert and Sullivan maritime classic. I mixed pink champagne with Miller Lite, tried to make out with our stage manager, and barfed all over the female lead’s game room carpet. That was my first and last production with the Pittsburgh Savoyards. Puritans!

I went to CAPA, majored in musical theater, and plotted for my Big Break. I planned on moving to NYC (of course), being a waitress, and living the romantical life of a struggling actress, until some visionary producer saw my moving rendition of Rizzo’s There Are Worse Things I Could Do (from Grease!, naturally), where he would then immediately cast me as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, and BAM. Move over Liza, here comes mindbling.

AS IF anyone can touch Ms. L. I DON'T THINK SO.

And then. And then along came jr. All of the sudden, living the romantical life of a starving musical theater junkie was no longer an option. I hung up my character shoes, got a ‘real job’ as a secretary, and stuffed my Broadway Dreams in a shoebox in my soul.

I did try to do a local show, a Kander and Ebb review, when jr. was about three. I pulled it off, but the grueling schedule of a successful musical run was no longer something I could balance. I was a mommy, dammit. This was HORSE SHIT.

That’s when I discovered bands. Which, believe it or not, are way less time intensive, and, you get the same LOOK AT ME I’M A STAR! rush. Also, you can totally drink while you’re doing it! SCORE!

For the next ten years I did that. And it was fun. I met a lot of great people, had a shit ton of great times, and fed my inner attention-starved child. I wasn’t kick-stepping to Oklahoma! but goddamnit, I was on stage and people LOVED ME.

As I got into my 30s, even the band became too much. I was getting older, becoming more ‘career-oriented’, and felt less and less like spending my weekends at some bar, belting out Susan Tedeschi for a crowd that just wanted Freebird. Any last vestige of my desire to make it big on stage had run its natural course, and I accepted the fact that from here on out, I was going to have to settle for being really, really good at karaoke.

And then along came Glee. Every dream I ever had for myself came whooshing back the second I watched my first episode. It touched something in me, and I don’t mean that in the dirty way. I mean, it moved me. One song in, and I was on stage with those kids, the smell of greasepaint in my nose, and the sound of applause in my ears. I have never had a mere TV show mean this much to me. Not even Dallas in its heyday.

I cry every show. I sing along. I wonder what if … where would I be if my dreams did come true? And then I feel the baby kick. Or catch a glimpse of Mavrick in the other room. Or jr. comes racing in to make me listen to some god awful song he discovered. The dreams of a 17 year-old are far different than those of a 34 year-old. And while I’ll never know if I could have made it big on stage, I know damn well I made it big here in my life, the one I’m living now.

That doesn’t mean I don’t watch Glee and secretly think that I am way, WAY better than that Chenoweth broad, cause I totally do. I’m pretty sure I could take on that Vocal Adrenaline coach, too. Wonder where I put that box with all my sheet music …

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Don’t Stop Believing …

  1. Starsky

    I’m a Gleek too! But one that cannot belt out a tune to save my life. I miss going to smoky bars and watching you sing. I miss you getting me drunk and convincing me that Philthy karaoke was something I could do! It was always that same Dido song that I would get hammered and sing…. But you, you my love are much better than the Chenoweth broad and Vocal Adrenaline coach combine.

    But what I really need to say is that truly you are an amazing mother and friend!

  2. Well, since we are in confession mode here, let me add my voice to those who will admit that they used to be theater geeks. My participation began in high school when I was smart enough to figure out that for a football player to also do the school musical with a bunch of hot girls and mostly gay guys was… SCORE! I kept doing them (the shows and the girls) into my twenties before I realized that–just as with my athletic abilities–this was never going to pay the bills.

    That said, Glee has never worked for me. I’ve given it a couple of attempts. It’s not funny enough to be a comedy or real enough to be a drama. It misses me. Something about the 26-year-old high school students? (Actually Finn is 28!) Something about feeling creepy for lusting over high school students (who actually aren’t high school students!)? Something about the way over-produced elevator versions of songs? Something about the way over-produced vocals? Something about the writing and plots that would seem completely inappropriate if they in fact used real high school students?

    It’s probably just not a straight-guy thing. (But that Chenoweth chick is a naughty kitty!)

  3. Seattle

    My brothers always called “gleek” the action where you release saliva from the glands instead of spitting. Thet used to gleek at each other. That is why I protest your being a gleekaholic

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