The week I was in a Russian boy band

For some reason my co-workers in Automattic's VIP team seem to be gripped by this story and thought I should share it, so here goes.

First of all, some back story. I've been performing in amateur musical theatre for about 15 years. I can single and act reasonably. I can dance badly.

Cue misty, dreamy clouds that take us back to 2013…

I've been asked to take part in a local group's performance of Eurobeat! It's a piss-take of Eurovision (many people argue it doesn't need it). After 6 months of rehearsals it takes to the stage, complete with audience-purchasable flags and plastic hand-clappers.

There are two presenters and a big opening, where all the countries parade with their national flags. Then each country takes to the stage to sing their song. Once that's all done, and during the interval, the audience gets to genuinly vote for who they want to win. After the break there's the big musical number which everyone takes part in before the winner is announced and performs again (with many people performing for multiple countries and with different costumes this is a frantic few moments where they have to suddenly rush to get ready).

I'm in the Russian boy-band, the K-G-Boys (do you see what they did there?). Now, in the original show, they were a genuine boy band. However, amateur theatre being what it is, we didn't have any young men in the group. Instead, out group consisted of one in his early 30s, 2 in their 40s and 1 in his 50s. So, we changed out backstory that we were original a boyband in the 80s and have re-formed just for Eurovision. However, one of our members has died so we've replaced him with his son (hence the younger member of our group).

The costumes were white t-shirts and dark suits, all purchased a few sizes too small to look as if we were squeezing back into our original costumes. These pictures were taken back-stage, rather than official promotional photos (need to find some – will publish them when I do)…

We had stools on stage (of course) and did classic boy-band dancing (albeit with bad backs, a lack of breath and generally looking as if we were struggling).

Singing was devided between the 4 of us but I had the final line at the end of the chorus (amongst others), which was fantastic – this included the very final line of the song. Near the end of the performance, I would leave the stage and head out into the audience, singing directly at females and even randomly (and awkwardly) stroking people's hair. Then I'd struggle back on the stage in the most ungainly way I could muster.

For the final night, though, I decided to stay off stage as I sang my final line, clutching the microphone in both hands, sinking to my knees, as if I was singing the performance of my life.

For practise on the run-up to the show, I listened to a lot of Backstreet Boys, which I think the song was definitely channeling. Here, btw, is the song…

It was a fantastic week and one of the most enjoyable shows I've taken part in. Audiences loved it with some seriously making suggestions that we should have toured it.

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