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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Moods - Silly, In Need of Pep

Which comes first, the pep or the silly? Does the pep inspire the silly mood or does the silly mood inspire the pep? Or does something peppy make one want to act silly or does something silly make one want to act peppy?

According to good old Merriam:

1. Informal.
2. Energetic; vigorous; lively.
3. Full of or characterized by energy and high spirits; lively.
4. Marked by lively action

1. Weak-minded or lacking good sense; stupid or foolish: a silly writer.
2. Absurd; ridiculous; irrational:
3. Exhibiting a lack of wisdom or good sense; foolish.
4. Lacking seriousness or responsibleness; frivolous

Picture it, if you will, a six-year-old me. Granted, you don't know how I look, but let me paint you a picture: average six-year-old height, dark blonde turning to brunette hair with curls that rivaled Shirley Temple's, freckles, a very smart-alecky attitude. Always in pigtails thanks to Cindy Brady, glasses, really rocked candy necklaces and overalls, usually barefoot, and ready to
perform a song for you at the drop of a hat. Six-year-old me knew I couldn't sing. At all. Shouldn't sing. Oh, but I did. In the tub, going to sleep, in the backseat of the car; pretty much anywhere I could perform I was going to. Six-year-old me always had a song ready to share and I frequently shared them, believe me. If I could find a moment to show off my skills, I wouldn't hesitate to do so.

I know you wonder what six-year-old me sang. You've got this mental picture of a perfectly adorable six-year-old, curls and all, ready to belt out a tune at the drop of a hat, but you've got no sound. You've got no tune for the girl in your head. I know, as you read this, you're mentally running through the list of various songs I could be...performing. Gospel? Country? Punk or New Wave? Disco? Folk? Blues? Rock? Was she belting out Beatles tunes, you wonder, following them up with some Rolling Stones or some Willie Nelson? Was she pretending to be Aretha Franklin or Donna Summer? Was she Earth, Wind, and Fire? Michael Jackson doing Thriller?

No. No. No. No. And no.

Six-year-old me liked to PERFORM. I liked to put on a show. No costumes, my cuteness was great enough. I didn't even use a fake microphone, I was that confident in my performance skills. I didn't need it. I just needed some lyrics and every so often, some dance moves. I liked to PERFORM, whether it be for my family or my friends or myself in front of the bathroom mirror. There was something so sassy about getting out of the tub with wet hair giving myself an Oscar worthy performance while brushing out tangles. I'm sorry. Tony Award worthy performance, because, well, that's right, six-year-old me LOVED Show Tunes.

Yes. Show Tunes. I frequented the soundtrack section of my father's LP collection. I would stay up really late watching old movie musicals, over and over again. I learned lyrics. I learned dance moves. Sometimes I learned entire dance numbers. I cleared furniture to make sure I had enough room to do the strip act from Gypsy. (A feat that managed to get me barred from watching that movie again until I was 12. It wasn't like I took my clothes off, I argued, after-all, Gypsy Rose Lee just stood behind a curtain for God's sake. But my mother? She wasn't having it.) I formed a love early on of movie musicals, of musicals in general. Even now, as an adult, I can tell you whatever it is you'd like to know about them, especially those great MGM musicals of the 50's.

Gypsy, Mame, Oklahoma, Pirates of Penzance, and South Pacific. Oh. Wicked, Les Miserables, Kiss Me Kate, Carousel. 1776, Annie Get Your Gun (I was so hardcore with my version of "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better".) West Side Story, Ragtime, The Fantasticks, Caberet, Chicago, Damn Yankees. The King and I, Little Shop of Horrors, A Chorus Line, Hair Spray, The Wiz...I could go on and on about my love of musicals. They make me happy.

My most favorite of them all? Guys and Dolls. Whether it be the movie version with a bumbling Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson and Vivian Blaine as Miss. Adelaide or the stage version with Nathan Lane trying to channel Sinatra, it is the one I hold near and dear to my heart. I always wondered, would I make a better Miss. Adelaide or a better Sergeant Sarah Brown? No matter, I know both their parts to be either one whenever the whim strikes me.

So, because I've been in the need of something to pull me out of my funk, I share with you my own personal play list, straight off my iPod..."Silly and Peppy and Oh-My-God Snap Out of It Already." I know every word and every note. I know exactly what they look like when performed and yes, I even know the dance moves to "Gotta Have a Gimmick" from Gypsy. Even now as an adult, you'll occasionally find me pulling the six-year-old me out of the closet and giving myself a performance of a life time.

As always, I don't expect you to fall down liking my personal play list, but do give it a shot. You never know what unexpected gem inside of it might inspire you to do a little dance right there at your desk. There's nothing wrong with being silly on occasion, you know...

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