Saturday, May 29, 2010

Channel surfing wipe out.

I have never watched an episode of Survivor.

I can't handle more than 15 minutes of American Idol.

I have seen only one episode of The Amazing Race and that was because I was in someone else's house.

But I was somewhat fanatical in the early days of Project Runway. I loved Top Chef.

I even held on with Bravo when Jonathan Adler decided his catchphrase was: "See you later, decorator."

Forgive me but...*gag*.

But most of my reality competition show fondness has fallen away.

Unless, I will now confess, I happen to stumble on So You Think You Can Dance.

I have often said that I can't understand not getting behind a show that inspires teenagers to whip themselves into a screaming frenzy over a two-step routine or a really good tango number.

I mean, I can't.

This week Leopold was out at a rehearsal and my re-run induced channel flipping landed me on SYTYCD (1) in time to see Teddy Tedholm's audition.

I will say that I honestly can't remember the last time a dance performance moved me to tears, but this one did. There's simply something about the honesty of his movement. The visual impact of his body moving across the stage. The beautiful dovetail of narrative to song in the gestural story he tells.

Watching Tedholm dance a rush of images and inspirations flooded into my head - Robert Longo's Men in the Cities drawings, the images in Paul Pope's Heavy Liquid, Buster Keaton...

The clips keep vanishing from YouTube but we'll see if this one sticks around for a bit. Pope's audition runs till about 2:03 (2).

1. As the kids and TV bloggers call it.
2. In the time since I posted the link Dick Clark Productions has pulled it down from YouTube. How rude.

Another thing I'm not going to do.

Often times, when I hear from The Freelancer, it's to suggest something that I should be doing. 

A possible freelance job I should pursue, a friend of a friend of his that may or may not be able to offer me yet another chance to be writing for free or, on occasion, the book project I should start.

Not long ago we had an exchange about the book I should write about my experience working at the school.

See, most of the books that teachers or wanna-be do-gooders write tend to revolve around how they saved such and such a kid. Brought a school back from the brink. Transformed young lives with music, poetry, a spelling bee.

You know what I'm talking about.

I, on the other hand, wonder sometimes if I'm doing more harm than good. My father will tell you that this is ultimately the sign of a good teacher. If you go in and, regardless of how excited and confident you are to be in a classroom, still have that voice in the back of your head telling you not to mess this up, it means you're thinking. It means you care.

It means you're not phoning it in.

So as The Freelancer began to describe the book I should write I stopped him and, like the good teacher I sometimes think I am, repeated back what I heard him saying.

"So, you think I should write a book about how I managed to not screw up a group of smart, funny, talented kids?"

"Yeah."

You can almost smell the movie deal, right?