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Competition Day 4, Part 1 – Chorus Finals: Revenge of the Pants

Here we go! It’s the day of the chorus finals (11/8) and there are gold medals up for grabs. The stage is pretty dead, so it was hard for us to tell how we did in the semifinals. For those choruses who make the top 10, scores are not provided until after the finals. The results are cumulative, so going into the finals we have no idea who placed where in the semifinals. We just have to have confidence that we did absolutely everything we could. Thursday is over, and we must focus on today.

Breakfast is at 8:00am and fatigue rears its ugly head once again. I make my way to the ballroom, although it’s a different ballroom this time. So I’m looking around for a some direction and there is our oldest member (82 years old), one of my favorite people. She points me in the right direction and I ask her “Are you my hostess today?”

“Yeah,” she says. “Welcome to Walmart.”

She cracks me up. I hope I’m like her when I grow up. She also has a tattoo of the chorus logo that she got on her 70th birthday. What a badass.

Anyway, breakfast begins. As you can see from our bright and shiny faces, we’re ready to go! I share with my table the pants incidents from Thursday, to their amusement. During breakfast, the chorus president passes out small silver rings with the word ‘joy’ on them to remind us that we need to sing with joy on stage and share it with the audience. We all add the ring to our ‘believe’ necklace.

♪ Good morning Baalllltimore! ♪

♪ Good morning Baalllltimore! ♪

After breakfast, we head over to rehearsal. Again we feel calm and prepared. We sound the way we want to sound. At the end of rehearsal, Pam gives us her second gift. She has small red boxes in a suitcase, over 100 of them, and she hands them out one at a time. She even refuses help from other chorus members because she feels it’s important that she gives each gift to us personally. I like that about her.

Then, she tells us all to open our gifts. Each of us finds a rubber bracelet that says “Feel the Magic – Harborlites 2014.” I love them! We begin conspiring amongst ourselves to find a way to wear it underneath the cuffs of our costume on stage.

We get the customary last-minute announcements and are then dismissed to go get ready. My roommates and I come up with an arrangement to help each other get into costume. Remember, we all have to pin ourselves in to the costume. So we each begin with different parts of our competition regimen: hair, makeup, costume. That way we’re not all trying to do them at the same time. We take turns using safety pins to attach the top to our bras or all-in-ones. I have an all-in-two (aka spanx and a bra). This will be important later.

So just like Thursday, I go get my hair checked, where we discover an even better way to make my hair as big as possible. I head back to finish my routine, and then down to the ballroom. On the to and from my hotel room, I discover that my pants keep slipping down. Unfortunately because I am wearing underwear, nylons, and spanx, I can’t feel when they’re falling. Now I’m paranoid and feel like I have to check them frequently.

Once in the ballroom there are several stations to go to. First, we must see the makeup checker. If she decides you need a little something extra, you head to another person. Once you’re done with that, you get in the pinning line to make sure all your pins are in the right places. While in the pinning line, I explain that my pants are falling. So the costume designer pins my pants to my spanx, hoping that will help. Now I head to the body makeup line. Our costumes have bare shoulders, so we need to make sure any exposed skin also has makeup on it.

It is at this point I look over and see that both our rally monkey and our mascot bear, Sasquatch, have exact replicas of even this new outfit. The rally monkey even has fake eyelashes glued on! I love it!

20141108_130010

20141108_131531 Guys, the bear has stirrup pants, just like we do!

I take a few pictures: the visual team, my quartet, etc. Then we load the risers for warm ups. It is becoming apparent that the hotel will have a lot of vacuuming to do when we leave. The ballroom is full of silver sequins and pieces of fringe. Sort of sounds like the punchline of a joke. You know you’re a Sweet Adeline when…

We get in the pattern, just like Thursday. Except apparently the contest is running behind. We get to the warm up room at the convention center and are told that our official ten minutes won’t start for a while. So we have time to use the restroom, which I decide I’ll do. I’m trying to be quick about it, but there are layers to work with, and figuring out how to keep my fringe out of the toilet took at least 30 seconds to a minute. On my way back to the warm up room, it becomes clear to me that I have two problems. The first is that my nylons never made it all the way back up where they belong. I’m sure the women reading this will understand what I mean…You start bending and stretching trying to get them back up without making it too obvious to passers-by. It’s not working, and I don’t really have time to go back to the restroom and start over with all my layers. The second problem is that since my pants were pinned to my spanx, instead of my spanx keeping thr pants up, my pants are pulling my spanx down ever so slowly.

So I’m just really uncomfortable, and here we go getting back into the pattern. So I think to myself “suck it up, you’ll just have to go on stage like this.” Also, I need to remind myself not to do ANY adjusting while on stage. If the pants fall, they fall. Never mind that I’m going to be totally exposed when the entire chorus splits to create a gap on the risers because I’m in the center…no, we’ll just cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Somehow I manage to put all that to the back of my mind and get into the emotion of the music, and we finish our 15 minute set. Which you can see here, if you like:

The moment I have walked off stage and the audience can no longer see me, I give a big heave-ho to my falling pants. Geez I can’t wait to get this outfit off.

There’s plenty more that happened today, but it’s just too much for one post. To be continued…

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One comment on “Competition Day 4, Part 1 – Chorus Finals: Revenge of the Pants

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