Being my own hero: the reason I became the infamous “Wonderboy”
It has been around 13 years since I’ve donned a red cape and blue shirt with a white “W” on it. I was 15 or so. It was talent show time at Blue Earth Area. I knew some friends who were doing some singing, some dancing, playing some musical instruments.
I have always been pretty hesitant to be on stage. Believe it or not.
But that year, I really wanted to show my classmates that I really did not care about what they thought of me. I was being bullied quite a bit by a select few, and it made school days a bit more intimidating than usual. My grades took a bit of a slump, my mom was pretty concerned about me, you know…that whole thing.
But then I decided I wanted to do something bold. Something out of my comfort zone to show my bullies that I was far, far above what they were doing to me.
So, I hatched a plan. My mom and I searched the world over for parts of a very specific costume I had in mind. She even helped me sew together some really rad white arm gloves with gold winged fringe on them. They were amazing. The whole outfit was.
I had my friend and choir teacher at the time, Mike Ellingsen, work with me to get some intense lighting cues down for this specific number I had planned for the talent show.
I wanted to blow everyone away. I wanted to show my friends, my peers, and even my bullies that I could laugh instead of cry or be angry, or retaliate with violence.
I chose to lip-sync to a song maybe a handful of folks had heard at the time. It involved one of my favorite comedians, Jack Black, and his friend and fellow comedian, Kyle Gass. The two formed a comedic band called Tenacious D. At the time, a song called “Wonderboy” was fairly popular.
When the time came, I got on stage in a crazy-looking super hero uniform, and lip-sank my heart out. My adrenaline rushed; my entire body was shaking hands, fingers, legs. I was petrified. But it was too late to go back now, so I gave it everything I had.
My rendition of “Wonderboy” went down in talent show history, causing a standing ovation from the entire crowd, and a request to return the following year for fall coronation.
This year, I went to BEA to cover the winter talent show to take photos for the Faribault County Register.
I was asked by multiple teachers and aides if I was making a comeback. It made my heart so happy to have fans still remember. I may have broken a few hearts by informing them I was only there as a staff photographer, and not the entertainment.
That being said, I can almost guarantee their sadness didn’t last long.
As the 2018 BEA talent show began, I was three minutes into taking photos before I was completely blown away.
Singers, pianists, violinists, guitar and ukulele players, and even Michael Jackson impersonators slayed the stage.
The photos I took are not enough to showcase the talent that truly graced the Performing Arts Center stage. I was completely taken aback.
And yes, I clapped, I?”woohoo”ed, I whistled and whooped. I made a fool of myself in order to show my support for the brave students who were in the spotlight.
It’s just a shame it was only there for students to see. If only the entire community could’ve heard those gorgeous voices, felt the emotion in those piano pieces, and been stunned as much as I with the throwback of the moon walk.
Is this an opportunity in the future to gain some fundraising for our school district? Possibly. Maybe it’s a time to throw a thought or two at providing vocal and piano lessons in school? A dance class or two? Tap into a few more performing art programs? Who knows.
All I do know is if my silly little lipsync can be remembered 13 years after I?did it, imagine what kind of creative artists we have in our school right now that deserve a brighter spotlight on them.
And as for the bullying? I don’t really know if the bullying stopped. I was too busy being admired by my friends and peers for making them smile and laugh. I didn’t care what my bullies thought of me anymore, because I had figured out my super power. Laughter.
My hat goes off to all of those students on the stage and working behind the scenes. It takes a whole lot of inner strength to not only take the stage, but land notes and keys while your heart is pounding and your whole body is trembling when it’s just you and a bright stage light in front of all of your peers.
Y’all rocked my socks off. And that’s coming from “Wonderboy.”