Skip to main content

Magical Moment 340, "Soldier Show"

Me at the piano during the finale of one of our shows


The best months I ever spent in the Army, was the tour of the 2007 Army Soldier Show, in which I was one of the 13 performers. The Army Soldier Show, was founded by none other than Irving Berlin himself when he was a soldier in World War II, and has carried on through the decades as a musical variety show "for the soldier, by the soldier."

One of my superior officers at the time, sent me an e-mail one day with the audition information for the show. I had never heard of it before, but immediately got chills when I learned more about it. Unfortunately, the deadline for submission was the following day, by midnight. I would need to make an audition video and overnight it that very day. I begged my supervisor to grant me the rest of the afternoon to work on it, and after much reluctance he finally consented. I borrowed a video camera and threw together a very home-made video of me singing and playing "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Cold Cold Heart" (Hmm, I never realized that both titles had repeat words. Funny). Then I raced back to post, collected all the official signatures I needed, and shipped it overnight at the UPS store.

A few weeks later, the Soldier Show officials at Fort Belvoir, VA, invited me down for a live audition. If I made the cut, I would remain there for 2 months of rehearsals, and then immediately begin an 8 month tour across the country. So I had to find care for my apartment, car, and dog under the assumption and hope that I passed the audition and would not be returning to my unit and home for the next 10 months.

After some very difficult rehearsals and an extremely nerve-racking live audition, I made the cut. Thus began 2 months of even more intense rehearsals with former Broadway choreographers, scholarly musical coaches, and a highly esteemed director, Victor Hurtado. Everything in the show was state of the art - the stage equipment, lighting, and music was all top of the line, professional, and way more than I had ever dreamed of at that time. In the show, I did everything from play the piano, to sing, to tap dance as a penguin - honestly, I did. It was an amazing show with an amazing cast.

The reason that these months were the best for me, was because I felt like a real soldier. Funny considering I was singing and dancing. But we worked, I mean WORKED. We did all of our own tech-ins and outs and let me tell you, that is the hardest manual labor I've ever done in the Army, or in my life. And I was a paratrooper. But more than that, I served. Like a soldier is supposed to serve. I gave my whole heart every night, for hundreds of people. And at the end of the night, when we were clothed in our Army dress blue uniforms, the flag was raised behind us, and the audience began to applaud, I was flooded with an immense feeling of pride. They were not clapping for me, they were clapping for all of us. All the soldiers. The flag. Their families. The history. The future. And remembering all those things is what being a soldier is about.

I found this 5 minute video today, in which I pieced together snippets of footage from the show. I could kick myself for never buying a real video camera to record it fully or with decent sound. Instead, Eddie captured 30 seconds at a time on his camera from the audience. I posted this on facebook, and then somehow I deleted the file from my computer (Argh!). So it only remains on facebook and you can view it at this link if you have a facebook account.
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=383616039547

If you don't have a facebook account, and you want to view it, click on this link and watch the video closest to the top entitled "Soldier Show Montage":
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Grimes/10150140553240405?ref=ts

The whole cast

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Magical Moment 611, "Great is Your Reward"

Certain sounds and smells can bring to mind a long forgotten memory. For me, certain Bible verses can conjure up a memory, long, but not so forgotten.
If you grew up like me, in a private Christian school, attending Sunday School, Awanas, and Vacation Bible School regularly, you're an expert at quoting Scripture. I laugh in the face of Bible "Sword Drill." I can find a Scripture reference in 3 seconds or less. When other's have to think to themselves the sequential order, "Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians..." I'm already at I Thessalonians. It's like growing up bi-lingual. The skill is just there.
This morning, I read the first 3 words of a verse, and then finished it quickly by memory. Like the pledge of allegiance, it was automatic. "Trust in the Lord...
...With all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths."  Proverbs 3:5-6
When I finished, I smiled to myself slightl…

Magical Moment 420, "The Critter Awards"

I'm nearly 28 and I still love to go to the zoo - even with no nieces or nephews to use as an excuse. I went to the Turtle Back Zoo in NJ with Eddie today. It was cold and rainy, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to have fun snapping photos of my favorite critters.
The Happiest Critter award goes to: Cassie the Sea Otter This is Cassie's first nomination as she is a new addition to the zoo. She thanks her parents for making her so cute, and the zoo keepers for feeding her and keeping her energy up to entertain the guests.
The Most Hypnotizing Critter award goes to: The Sea Horse The Sea Horse was also nominated for Brightest Critter.
The Brightest Critter award goes to: The Blue Fish The Blue Fish and the Sea Horse are considered rivals in many aspects, but personally maintain a good friendship. "We work together in our goal to inspire awe in our spectators," said the Blue Fish.
The Best Dressed Critter award goes to: The Peacock The Peacock has won this award sever…

Magical Moment 620, "Lilac Garden"

Eddie and I visited the Lilac Gardens at Ringwood Manor in New Jersey, a pristine and beautiful state park with 8 species of lilacs and several varieties within. We went on a rainy afternoon, which turned out perfect because the rain stopped for us when we got there, and began again as soon as we left. It also decorated the plants with gorgeous rain drops, adding to their beauty. 






And now for a quick game of "Where's Elizabeth?"
And "Where's Eddie?"
~~Have a great weekend! ~~