Friday, March 21, 2008

Flashback Friday - Fighting Fire with Fire

I went to the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts as a vocal music major. We used to tell people, "it's like Fame, but we don't dance on the tables." Although, we did break out in song every now and then.

You would think that we'd all be totally stuck up, competitive, and crawling all over each other to be the best. We weren't. The school was still so new at that time, we were all just grateful to be there. I believe mine was the 4th graduating class - something like that. We had been the geeks at our previous schools that no one got. We were the ones who weren't interested in going to the football games (except for the band, maybe) and got excited when a Sondheim tour came to town. We were the people who wore black, but weren't into punk. We were the ones voted "Most Talented" in the junior high yearbooks.

Our high school finally gave us a place to belong, to talk about big band jazz versus jazz fusion, or whether Mozart or Beethoven was a better composer, or whether Andrew Lloyd Webber added value or too much commercialism to Broadway. We once had an hour-long discussion on what defined "classical" music. (I can only speak here about the music majors.)

Junior year, we had some new students come in. (At the time, the high school only went sophomore-senior year.) One new student wasn't quite acclimated to our culture yet.

We all had opportunities to do our best and worst work in our music class, and in front of everyone. Sometimes you rocked it, and sometimes you failed. Because we all knew that the next time we got up there could be the time for us to mess up royally, we were pretty supportive of each other when someone didn't do their best. We all critiqued each other's work in a constructive manner. And, to be fair, we were all so different that someone was always doing something that we personally couldn't do. We had gospel singers, opera singers, pop and Broadway singers. And we all were required to try different things that weren't really our specialty.

Come to think of it, it's a bit like the blogosphere. We all have things in common, but different experiences and background. With a few exceptions, what I've experienced here is the most akin to what I experienced there; a chance to support each other, and learn from each other.

Anyway...I'm so dragging this out, aren't I? One of the new juniors just didn't get it. She decided to pick on me. She made really rude remarks about one of my solos in a way that just wasn't necessary. No, it wasn't my best, but I was working on it. Her remarks didn't scare me; they just ticked me off. They ticked off my friends, too.

From then on, we made her life miserable. We'd critique her work so thoroughly that there was nary a breath left that we hadn't commented on (all the while doing it "constructively" so that there wasn't anything our professors could find wrong with what we were doing). We'd make catty remarks as she passed us in the halls. We definitely left her out of our reindeer games (Heathers? Anyone?).

A couple of months of this, and by the semester break, she decided to go back to her neighborhood school. I can't say I'm proud of it, but at the same time, I really had no idea that we'd had such an effect on her!

Cut to a few months later. I was working for one of those dinner cruise ships out of Los Angeles Harbor. One of the musicians and I started flirting. He asked me out. We had a good time. Before we had a chance to proceed from there, we ran into each other at some show. It came up then that I was going to LACHSA. He started talking about his niece who went there. Yep, it was her!

Funny, he never asked me out again!


Kori said...

I knew you were a mean bitch, but geez...this sounds like something I would do! Like the time I told everyone I knew about some girl who I hated who contracted ghonorhea (sp?) from a gang bang she participated in...oh, wait, this isn't about me....: )

Anonymous said...

ok.. a few things first.

#1) LOVE the new look of your blog. When did you do this? Sometime between yesterday and today? lol

#2) Mozart, definitely Mozart.

#3) Webber. *shudder* eeeew.

#4) What's your damage, Heather?

hehe. great post. Happy Friday. :)

Jen said...

I like the new look, too. And about the junior - she may have been overly critical, or she may have been trained to speak that way. I had an issue with a student in my writing class and this is a wonderful girl, but she was making some comments in ways that I knew weren't helping her in terms of friendships. And it was mostly because she'd learned that style from an inexperienced workshop teacher that she'd worked with the year previously. But I'm sure she came off as pretty brutal to her classmates, until we discussed it.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

You were gypped - we danced on the tables at my high school and it was the best part. Of course we were stomping on cockroaches. But still, it was really fun.

Tui Snider said...

It'd be interesting to read the niece's rendition, wouldn't it? I'm sure she never forgot the episode!

Btw, I found you via Flashback Friday. Such a fun meme!


Anonymous said...

First time here so I have no clue how your old format looked...but yay for change!

And nice chance encounter with your arch nemesis' uncle! I had something similar in high school when I started dating this guy and went to his graduation party only to discover that his mother was my bus driver...the one who I pissed off purposefully all the time and who had pretty much started kicking me off the bus anytime I was on it.

Anonymous said...

Nice new look! Look at it this way, the satisfaction of putting her in her place was probably well worth not going out with that guy in retrospect. A good revenge tale, no matter how minimal sticks with you for life. Long after a relationship - no matter how good it was. :)

Tara R. said...

Karma... it's a bitch. I would have done the same thing though. =)

Anonymous said...

What a great post! It's nice to know there are schools like this!

TZT said...

Maybe the universe was protecting you: 1) you got a new, innocuous reason to think about your past behavior, which is generally a good thing. 2) Perhaps you were spared a relationship with a similarly overly critical uncle person.

Nice to meet you. Thanks for visiting my place!

Don Mills Diva said...

Ouch. I guess that's Karma - at least you don't need to feel guilty anyone - it's all even Steven now right?

Unknown said...

I second Tara :) Lovin' the new look girl...change is wonderful!!

LunaNik said...

Ouch! Oh well...he was probably a bad kisser anyway. And getting that girl to put her tail between her legs and leave was sooo worth not dating her loser (i'm guessing) cousin.

And, btw, I still say "same difference" and "what's your damage". Some movies just get in your head and STAY in your head.

And, yeah, the new blog look...I'm liking it girlfriend. You know I loves me some dark bloggy atmosphere.

1stopmom said...

I like your blog. It really works!! Thanks for stopping by. I like the post. Just imagine how awkward it would be if he did ask you out again!

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