I pulled my old van into Mcdonalds parking lot and saw Pauls rental van setting at the back end of the lot and pulled in next to his. I got out and opened the back hatch door to start unloading my equipment
guitar,mini electronic piano, sax ,and trumpet . As I was doing this Paul got out and began helping me as he said, " Well how you doing kid you ready to Woo... your fans in a bit?"
"I hope so , I'm still not to sure about this though ,i just hope something doesn't go wrong , but yeah i'm
excited too about the concert as well ."
"Good Kid its good sometimes to be nervous just before a show you get it out of your system before you go on and out comes an excellent program." Paul chuckled.
After finally getting everything loaded in Pauls rental van , I climbed in and we silently transversed the 3 blocks to my school. I thought back to just how I had became the famed Charlie Lee The shadow Rock Star.
FLASH BACK TO TWO YEARS EARLIER:
I had developed an interest in music singing and playing instruments when younger but was just to shy to take courses in school that required me to be in a group setting especially with girls I might have liked . Band , school choir and the like I was just too much of a loner and definitely to shy as well as not having a lot of confidence. However I did learn to play various instruments on my own with lots of practice (trial and error ) . My parents knew of my shyness and my love of music and supported me all this time ,so when a amateur talent contest show was scheduled in 2 weeks in a near by town . My parents encouraged me to participate , as usual I balked at first but my parents gently convinced me to do it anyways. I had written my own songs and composed the music for them so I had 2 songs ready for that event . Being shy I had to figure out a way that I could do the show without being so nervous to do so. A few days latter I was watching a kids show (ya, part of being a dorky guy thing) they did a skit with a shadow form box with puppets. When inspiration hit me so I built me a large light weight shadow box with
bright flood lights . My plan was for the stage crew to set my instruments on stage and walk the
light weight shadow box in front of the instruments . AS they walked it out I would hide myself
behind the shadow box and turn on the portable lights.
THE DAY OF THE TALENT SHOW:
WE arrived at the town 3 hours before the talent contest but even then there were hundreds of people there some that were preforming and some to support those that were. We were standing in line when
a small group of people approached the line of hopeful performers taking names and what they would be doing in the talent contest. Finally they got to me.
"Who are you and what are you going to be doing for the talent show?" Ask Paul. (ya my Paul).
"My name is Clyde Hyder and i'll be singing and playing my own compositions." I stuttered out.
Paul laughed, "You nervous kid?"
"Yes Sir." I replied.
"That's good , you get all the nervousness out here and everything should go fine." Paul stated
"Thank you Sir." I replied.
"What's this your friend (referring to my dad) has in his arms. Anything you may need help with latter?" Paul ask.
"Yes Sir , part of my act which my Dad will need help with to put in front of my instruments." I said.
Paul chuckled again , "Well what exactly is it for kid?"
"It's a shadow box for me to hide behind because I get nervous with people watching me." I nervously said hoping that they'd let me use my prop.
Paul looked at the others with him before looking back at me , " Well kid your in luck your not the only one here with some outlandish things for their performances so who are we to refuse." Paul laughingly replied as the others joined him and shook their heads in agreement as well. "Good luck kid and break a leg ,we'll see you inside when the show starts." as Paul and his group went to the next performers in line.
4 HOURS LATTER:
One of the stage crew approached Clyde , " Your on in 5 , you want to be announced in any way special?" he ask.
This was something I had been contemplating and had decided on a false identity of Charlie Lee. Reason being that my life in school was traumatic because of my loner, geeky, nerdy ways so if I bombed out here I didn't want the people in my school to make fun of my failure on top of everything else.
"Yeah, you can announce me as Charlie Lee if you would the shadow performer." I stated.
"Ok, Charlie Lee it is." as he scribbled it down on his clip board while walking away.
TEN MINUTES LATTER:
I had just done my piece and was getting a tumultuous applause and shouts of an encore . So I started my soulful slow piece (a love ballad) which I was told latter there wasn't a dry eye in the place when I finished it. Also again there was so much applause an shouts of Provo after a few seconds of what seemed like silence. The stage crew came out and walked the shadow box off stage with me in tow behind it. I wasn't really expecting to win so I wasn't prepared to be called back out on stage as the winner.
"Ok, Ladies and Gentlemen we are about to announce the 3 rd place winner of this talent show give it up for Ms. Sommers and her dancing dogs"... after the applause died down at the prompting of the show host announcing the winners .
"In second place give it up for Mr. Wickers and his ventriloquist dummy Chatty." he announced .
"Now Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to announce the 1st place winner , someone who managed to capture the hearts of not only the judges but it seems the audience as well , please give a stupendous applause for Charlie Lee , Ladies and Gentlemen."
I stood there not knowing what to do 1st place and they wanted me to come out on stage to accept my
prize a check for $500.00 dollars for 1st place. I looked around almost paralyzed with fear knowing if I stepped out on the stage I was afraid someone I knew would recognize me for who I was. Fortunately
my older brother who was home from college offered to accept the prize with the explanation that Charlie Lee was extremely shy and that he would be accepting the prize check for him. The audience at first didn't respond positively until my brother stated that his shyness was so great it was the reason for the way he done his presentation. Which seemed to be accepted by them at that time.
FIFTEEN MINUTES LATTER:
My dad and I were packing up my equipment and getting it ready to load in my dads van when Paul walked up.
"Your a natural kid you know that? That voice of yours is something else and the way you played that
guitar in the 2nd song it was literally talking to the audience as you were singing." Paul praised .
"Thank you ." I stuttered out.
"Kid have you ever considered going professionally because I believe you could go far in this business and if you do i'd like to be your manager." Paul stated.
"I don't know I wasn't even expecting to win tonight but if I do how would I contact you.? I asked.
Paul pulled out a business card and handed it to me as he said , " Any time Charlie Lee anytime you want and we'll do everything we can to make you a supper star ok." From that time on everything is history which brings us to present date and my performance at my school.
In that short ride from Mcdonalds to my school I had been thinking all about that and guess I had zoned out because the next thing I knew Paul was speaking to me.
"Say Kid , we're here you ready put your hoodie up here comes that cheerleader that's going to let us in . The stage crew got here about 15 minutes ago so blend in with them as we go in ,OK." Paul stated.
I pulled my hoodie up and hid my face from anyone face as Paul started speaking to Gloria Wakefield
I turned so all she saw was my back as I got out of the van and opened the side door while removing the instruments and the portable shadow box . Some of the other stage crew came over and started to assist as well which I blended in well with so I was able to get into the auditorium without being seen or recognized for the moment.