And Now for a Little Variety

Josie Leavitt - February 13, 2012

I do stand-up comedy when I’m not toiling at retail. Sometimes my comedy takes me to very interesting places. This past Friday I found myself in the Charlotte Central School Multi-Purpose, hosting the 6th Annual Variety Show.
The Variety Show features kids from kindergarten to 8th grade performing all manner of acts. I learned a very important lesson this year. Saying “Break a leg” to the littlest children, who started off the show, was not the best idea. All I heard was a quarter of the kindergarten class saying, “Why does she want me to break my leg?” “Is my leg going to break?” I tried to explain, but to no avail, but it didn’t get in the way of their song starting the show. It was going well until half of the kids jumped choruses and were no longer singing in rhythm with the other half. It was charming.
I have a lot of shows a year, but this is one of my favorites. The innocence of this show is what I particularly love. Scared kids gather backstage and wait their turn to go on. You can feel their nervousness, but they all did great. There was one girl, a fourth grader, who belted out an Adele song that rivaled Adele herself. She brought the house down. And when she was leaving the stage she started to cry, just a little, and then I noticed that her hands were shaking. She was also wearing Ugg snowboots and that just completed the picture for me.
I was struck by the number of kids who chose to recite poetry. These brave kids were compelling and the audience was extremely appreciative. There are two brothers and a sister who have recited poetry for all six years of the Variety show. It’s been great to see them grow into poised poets who don’t nervously present their poems by rote, but rather act them out and fully embody the poem.
Wearing a different hat in front of 500 members of my community is great fun. It reminds all the parents that I am more than just the owner of the bookstore. Ironically, this helps business. I’ve already signed up for next year and several kids have told me they’ll be there as well.

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