Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beware of Moving Pianos

For those of you who enjoyed Ellen Johansen's hilarious recital-preparation story a few days ago, here's another one, this time from Jan Grimes, coordinator of the venerable collaborative piano program at Louisiana State University.
I have a funny story to share with you; one of many working with students that have contributed to my salt and “silver” hair!!!

This soprano (who sold Mary Kay products by night) was in the green room before her recital when she suddenly wanted to “go over” that spot that she had such difficulty counting in “the Monk and his Cat.” As we did so, she made the same mistakes as usual, but when I informed her of that her response was, “Oh, I just wanted to see how well you would ‘follow’ me.” !!!!#@ internal reaction. I smiled and encouraged her to sing whatever she was doing with confidence and that I would be with her. Well, in the recital all went as I expected: dropped rests here, prolonged breaths there, and wrong words everywhere. However, she did surprise me with one thing. You must picture this young lady as a fully grown diva, and as Gerald Moore says, “the curve of the piano was made to fit.” As she was singing one of her last selections, and as the finish line was now in sight for her, she really began to THROW herself into her music, so much so that she threw herself back on the piano and it moved over an octave to my left!!!! I quickly directed my page turner, with a stern look to avoid debate, to put his foot behind the wheel. ( I think he was afraid for his appendage.) Well, we all survived and I was as happy as anyone when this event was over. The only thing I have neglected to tell you so far was a non-musical thing that happened during the intermission. As we all know, we collaborative pianists do much more than play the piano. We are cheerleaders, team players, coaches, and sometimes “locker room” assistants. With that in mind, I must tell you that this young, but large, diva was wearing a body suit under her gown and after a visit to the powder room during intermission found that she couldn’t reconnect the snaps. Well, the rest of the story is obvious. I was gracious and kind the entire time, but can imagine. :)
If you have a hilarious story that you would like to share, send me at note any time. I can either credit you or list it from an anonymous source.

(Thanks, Jan!)

1 comment:

  1. That's a pretty fun story :) have some very funny images in my head!