Some episodes from the eyes of the backups…..
Hi, my name is Wendy. You’ve probably seen me at The P*lace with Kids Incorporated. I’m one of their dancers. Me and my best friend Andrea, side by side on stage.
But for a while, it was a little hard for me to be on stage. Believe it or not, I was actually very shy. Once, Mickey introduced all the backup musicians and dancers at the end of a show. They all did their little solos – Mario on the drums, Carleeta on the keyboards, Aaron on the bass guitar, and Andrea took a bow after a couple of spins.
Me? I just kind of turned away when they introduced me. I just didn’t like being the center of attention. I know what you’re thinking: how can someone so shy, be dancing on stage for everyone to see?
There was another secret I was sitting on as well. I could sing a little bit too. Sometimes, after concerts at The P*lace, I would sneak in when the building was empty with a boom box and sing along with a music tape. I did this for the longest time.
But one night after a show, I sneaked in as usual, and started singing along to the music on my tape, while it was dark, except for the main spotlight. While I was singing, Mickey came in and saw me on stage, and he told the others. I didn’t know they were watching me until I was done. When I stopped, they started applauding, and Mickey turned on all the lights. So what did I do? I ran out of there.
They caught up to me outside and asked me what was wrong. I told them I like to sing, but not in front of people. They said if I sung on stage, the crowd would love it. But what if they didn’t? That’s what I was afraid of. They tried to convince me, but I was too scared to do so in front of an audience. So I ran off, hoping that would be the end of it.
The next day, I came back to The P*lace for a show, and found Mickey, Gloria, and the rest at the stage door entrance. They said the day’s show was cancelled and The P*lace was closed because of an electrical problem, and that all the lights were out – except the main spotlight. So they all left me there at the stage door. I thought, since there was no show today, why not go in and sing?
So I did. I went on stage in the dark – except for the main spotlight – and turned on my music and started to sing and…..
Suddenly, all the lights came on, and I saw all these people in the audience and there I was, right in the middle of a concert! The Kids had tricked me into being on stage, and joined me right there. I had nowhere to run to and I was real scared. But the song went on, and before long, I had a microphone in my hand, and began to relax, and dance and sing with the rest of them. And just like that, I wasn’t shy anymore.
Mickey said that being shy was being afraid that people weren’t going to like me. Apparently, that’s not going to be a problem. Now I can sing (and dance) without being afraid anymore.
Hi, I’m Andrea, one of the dancers for Kids Incorporated. You’ve probably seen me at The P*lace a lot, dancing on stage with my friend Wendy, getting into the music that the band plays.
I’ve had lot of fun dancing with Kids Inc. I like it when we perform in costume. It’s fun getting to play dress up on stage. Once, me and Wendy dressed up as Pinocchio for a show, complete with fake noses; while we were dressed up like that, Wendy started talking about a guy and her nose fell off. I wonder just how much she liked the guy. Another time, the band put on a street carnival, and Wendy dressed up a bearded lady, and I was the daring young girl on the flying trapeze. But we didn’t have a trapeze, so I just twirled around ribbons instead. For a Halloween show, Wendy dressed up as Igor, while I dressed up as the bride of Frankenstein. However, our bass player Darren was supposed to be Frankenstein, but the makeup gave him a rash, so Gina, our keyboard player, had to be Frankenstein. She was two years younger and a foot shorter than me. You can imagine all the jokes that was said about that.
But there was one time we got to dress up for a show that we had no say about. It was really weird, because I’m not sure what happened myself.
One day, we were doing a show and everything was going as it should. The band went backstage for a break and the rest of us stayed on stage waiting. I was at one end of the stage up front, and Wendy was at the other end. We all heard the band coming back on stage, and we got ready to rock.
That’s when I felt a little dizzy. I steadied myself and closed my eyes, just for a second. I opened my eyes, and looked out at the crowd. Everything seemed fine. Then I looked over to Wendy, and she was pointing at me with this surprised look on her face. And that’s when I noticed she wasn’t wearing the same clothes she was five seconds ago. In fact, neither was I!
Both me and Wendy were dressed up as go-go dancers from the 1960’s – except we didn’t go backstage and change outfits. Me and Wendy both had black mini skirt dresses and shiny white boots right up to our knees. Even our hairstyles had changed! And to top it off, me and Wendy were in dancer cages, just like the clubs in the 1960’s.
I looked at the band, and they changed as well. They were all dressed in 1960’s clothing – mini-skirts, go-go boots, and big hair on the girls, and fringe vests, fringed pants and turtle necks on the guys. Ryan’s spiky hair was now a mop top and The Kid had an afro. And they all had the same confused look that I had.
So what did we do? The band started playing “Let’s Twist Again”, so that’s what I did. I started doing the Twist, and acted as if nothing was wrong, which I knew was a total lie. But what else could I do?
For some reason, the audience acted as if nothing was wrong. They just cheered and applauded when the song was over. The band then went backstage, probably to find out what was wrong. I just stayed on stage, wondering if I was in some kind of twisted episode of The Twilight Zone.
I began to feel dizzy again, and closed and opened my eyes. Then suddenly, everything was OK. I looked over at Wendy, and she was back in her normal clothes. So was I, and so was everyone else. And I went, What the heck happened?
I didn’t get an answer, and didn’t want an answer. The whole incident kind of freaked me out. At the end of the day, I did hear something about Riley inventing a time machine backstage and the band were kidding him about it. A time machine? That would explain a lot, but I couldn’t believe that.
If it was true, I’m glad we didn’t get stuck in the sixties. Then again, it gave me an appreciation of what we happened, and what could be tomorrow.
But just in case, I’ll keep some retro clothing from the sixties close by.
Hi there! It’s me, Mario. I’m the drummer for Kids Incorporated. I know some of you can’t see me when I’m on stage, since I’m behind everyone else and the drums. But some girls say they can see me – and my dimples – just fine.
When I’m not banging on the drums, I’m inside the mat room at school. I’m on the school’s wrestling team and we’re pretty good. When I first started wrestling on the team, there was this one guy who didn’t like me. He didn’t think I was much of a wrestler, considering I was also in a band. One day, he said something bad about the band, specifically about how I’m around so many girls and not in a good way. I won’t get into details, but we ended up settling our differences on the mat. It took a head and arm throw and twenty seconds to set him straight. Needless to say, he kept his mouth shut from then on. And I’m pretty sure he’s not getting any dates any of the girls in the band.
Wrestling is not all brute strength. It takes dedication, tenacity, and willpower, and that’s just practice. You can’t become a wrestler overnight. Just ask The Kid.
Some time ago, there was this wrestler who called himself the Masked Mauler, and he put out a challenge to anyone out there to wrestle him. Anyone who knows The Kid knows he has an ego, and he took up the challenge.
One problem: he didn’t know how to wrestle. So Ryan asked me to get The Kid ready for his challenge. I would be the coach, Ryan his trainer, and Stacy and Renee his fan club. Gloria opted to bring the ice and bandages and call 9-1-1.
Naturally, The Kid was no wrestler. Every practice move I showed him, he wound up on his back. He had no clue what he was doing. But he was so determined to take on the Mauler, he kept on going. I felt I was coaching a dead man walking.
So the day of the match came. Stacy and Renee were his cheerleaders, and Ryan was in his corner. I watched as The Kid took on the Mauler. I could only shake my head when he tried to do everything not to get in the clinch with him. After a while, Ryan tried to intervene and stop the match. That’s when the Mauler went after Ryan. When he saw his friend in trouble, The Kid found his bravery, and jumped on the Mauler and pulled his mask off. Apparently, the Mauler had the face of a dork and couldn’t stand to be seen in public without his mask. He ran out of the ring covering his face.
The match was over and The Kid was declared the winner, then he asked us to make sure he never did anything like that again. My guess is that he will anyway.
Anyway, later that day, I was leaving the P*lace when the Mauler showed up again. He wanted his mask back and he wasn’t going to leave without it. By luck, I actually had his mask. I told him to ask me nicely for his mask. He didn’t.
The Mauler got his mask back, but now he’s wearing it out of necessity. When he tried to take it from me, well, let's just say he found out how good a wrestler I am. I also have to tell Riley about a couple of bricks that got loosened from the wall from where the Mauler’s face hit.