Fade to Black Slower, Please

As a “TV kid,” I learn terms such as “stand by,” “take DDR1,” “roll maters,” and so on. But as I look back, the term that represents my senior experience the most is “fade to black.”

Because I’m a senior, I’ve gone through almost all of my “lasts” in high school, and now I’m down to the last of the lasts. Today, I anchored my very last show on Steele News Live, and this past weekend, I performed at my very last Pop Show… ever.


When I think of Pop Show, the first term that pops into my head is “show bizz,” as if some sort of professional is telling us, “This is show bizz, people!”

Pop Show is a time for ridiculous entertainment, really bad un-organization backstage, and all seniors at that senioritis stage where they think, “screw it, I’m going all out… because senior year.”

My senior year happened to fall on the 50th anniversary of Pop Show, and I, as the president of concert choir, got to aid the choir director in making this year’s Pop Show as amusing as its limits could hold. Preparing was a smooth ride between choreography and memorizing music. Because the talent in choir this year overflowed into the previous three concerts allowing us to receive straight ones at contest, I knew this Pop Show had to, and was going to, put the “show” in “show bizz.”

Opening night came and the first song, “The Evolution of Dance,” started to play. I instantly felt connected – there was a thrilling vibe of excitement, and simultaneously, I had deja vu…

A treasured memory this year happened in a practice room as Concert Choir prepared for contest. Mr. Skladan, the choir director, put the choir to a sudden halt during our practice round of “Omnia Sol,” but allowed Eli, the pianist, to continue playing. Through the crescendo’s and the forte’s, we stopped singing at the most sentimental, emotional, bone chilling part of the song:

“And when we part and sorrowed can’t be swayed, remember when and let your heart be staid.”

That deja vu was nostalgia – a reminisce of connectedness between choir members. After we competed flawlessly, Mr. Skladan, Steven and I walked to our results, though we knew the good news coming already… straight one’s. We were ready for contest, we were set with staid hearts, and we were a go for for Pop Show.

My best friends and I performed the song “Gone, Gone, Gone” by Phillip Phillips. As Jonah and I sang the very last line, we slowed down, sang “I’ll love you long after you’re gone, gone, gone” with shakiness in our voices and tears in our eyes, and realized it was over as the tech crew faded to black.

Then senior night came, and I cried. We all cried, we sang “We Go Together,” and we received our flowers. Then, in our black, signifying our senior position, we all faded to black together.

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This is me crying during “We Go Together” because senior year

Two years ago I sat at a news desk, auditioned for the TV Communications Class, and then received a golden ticket into the Steele News Live Class of 2016. Two years later, I sat at a news desk, announced to the school, and said goodbye to Steele High School forever.

Jessica: “Well Erica, do you want to cry now or later?”

Erica: “Well I really don’t think we have much of a choice.”

Jessica: “You’re right because this show is meeting its end.”

Erica: “Well Steele we have to move on, but we’ll love you when we’re gone. See ya round.”

Jessica: “And with that I say goodbye one last time… see ya Steele.”

It is from within every ounce of my heart that I thank everyone who allowed me, as well as 19 other students, to take 12 minutes of your mornings to read you the news. I am humbled to have learned how to produce news, how to handle the behind the scenes of broadcasting, and how to on air report and anchor. I’m forever grateful for a great teacher who put me in, and 19 classmates I shared my experience with.

Thank you for watching my ten minute midterm about cellphone use, for enjoying my “passion” feature, and for showing an interest in the “violent intruder drill” story. This is mile two of a 1,000 mile road trip, and the distance ahead is based off of the set foundation of Steele News Live. As I watched Jessica, Steven, and I fade to black today for the last time, I realized that it was only the last time in High School – there are many more “fade to black’s” left for my future… I just have to let whoever is directing control that.

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This side by side represents a journey… one that I grew in.

 

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