Sometimes my life reminds me of stories of up-and-coming musicians--the ones that wait tables during the day to sing in jazz clubs at night. I spend my days, as you know, driving mini-tanks over the river and through woods around Yellowstone. The stars of the show are the buffalo, eagles, wolves, and elk. But at night, when everyone returns to the lodge and relaxes in the lobby, all that changes. My friend George is a retired vocal professor who is hired to play piano in the lobby in the evenings. He owns an impressive collection of music and a couple of times a week I stand behind him at the piano to sing along. Each night has a different musical theme: jazz, Gershwin, Broadway...Strangely, guests are usually more impressed with my ability to carry a tune than carry their luggage. Obviously, they haven't carried their luggage recently. Believe it or not, people ask questions like these: "Have you sung on Broadway?", "Are you going to be a Broadway star?", and "Is she a professional nightclub singer?" My fellow transportation workers have offered to turn the bellhop desk into a bar, let people smoke, and transform the lobby into a club. Unfortunately, I didn't bring the slinky black dress to really bring it off. Besides, the lighting really isn't right.
Usually I pick the music, but sometimes there are requests. Last week a group of 50 retirees were visiting and we all sang "Red River Valley" and "Puff the Magic Dragon" together. Tonight a woman stopped by to join in on "Summertime" and "Some Enchanted Evening". My favourite was a girl, probably about 8 years old, who sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" with me tonight.
Tonight is also significant because it marks the first time that I've ever been paid to sing. A little girl gave George and I $1 each. The funny part, is that this happened while I was singing songs from Beauty and the Beast. So I guess doing that play has finally "paid" off.