Well, a few days ago I “bit the bullet”, went on-line to the Canada’s Got Talent website and filled out an application for our equine orchestra. One of the first questions asked “single performer or group”. Obviously we’re a group. Next question: “how many”. That stopped me in my tracks. Do they want everyone or only the humans? I went with “everyone”: thirteen.

Next snag…name and birth date of each member of the group. I fetched the phone, brought it to the computer and started dialing. It was Sunday evening and I lucked out, most of my group members were home.

Daniela and Julia’s mother said, “Do the girls know about this?”

I answered, “Not exactly, but they do know I’m thinking about it. When I emailed people asking for suggestions for names of our group your daughters came up with over a dozen!”

She asked, “What will they be doing?” Good question. For our first performance Julia was working with the music and Daniela was playing the floor piano. Did I mention that she doesn’t PLAY the piano?

I answered, “Probably holding horses.”

Surprisingly I didn’t have too much trouble finding the equine birth dates…

When I called Allen Kalpin for his birth date (and his daughter’s) he laughed, then coughed up the information.

Back to the questionnaire…”Give a detailed description of the act”. Well, that’s a bit challenging. Brenda (who swears she’ll never set foot in front of a television camera) says that each consecutive “audition” on the show requires a new act. So do I describe one act or several? I opted to describe the orchestra. Z and Z will be on pedestals with a halter and lead line. This attachment is necessary because four or five other horses will be playing instruments in the background with additional people (other than those holding on to the steeds) playing an assortment of instruments. If Zeloso stood “free” on the pedestal he’d be looking for that brief lapse in Bill’s concentration which would allow him to leap off the pedestal and go play with the rest of the music makers.

Another question asked if we would be using music and WHAT music. (Of course we’re using music. It’s an orchestra.) I explained that the orchestra (horses doing percussion) would be playing “When You’re Happy and You Know It) with Z and Z acting out the verses. I figured THREE verses (big smile, salute, tap your toes) was all anyone would want to hear of that song. I was considering “Catch the Towel”, but Zelador has waxed creative. In each verse you perform the action three times. He’s changed the routine to “miss the towel, miss the towel, catch the towel”. By the time he finally catches the thing EVERYONE is thrilled and cheers wildly. He likes that!

The questionnaire asked: first choice for audition site. I selected “Toronto”. It asked for the second choice. I figured if I chose “Toronto” the computer program would not be amused. I picked “Montreal”. Rest assured…I’ll not be travelling to Montreal!

The Canada’s Got Talent also mentions that the act is to be from one minute and thirty seconds to two minutes in length. At the two minute mark the officials would STOP the “performance”. I thought, “That’s a bit short!” However, just for fun, I decided to time the song. I sang it very slowly, allowing for plenty of time for the horses to perform movements. Total time: 45 seconds. I timed it again. Still 45. I timed it AGAIN, (sweating a bit…) 45 seconds.

Where was I going to find another 45 seconds? That’s when I remembered someone suggesting that we start the act with a horse rolling out the carpet. Ah…that should fill the gap! If it doesn’t we could end with Z and Z bowing. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds. They do the knee-on-the-ground-bow and I’m guessing that the ground won’t be soft arena footing. However, I can teach them the obeisance. First of all I need to have each horse step backwards off the pedestal, placing their hind feet on the floor and leaving their front feet on the pedestal. Secondly I teach them to stretch those front legs which is facilitated when they move their hind legs a bit further back. The auditions in Toronto are the last few days of September. If I can’t teach the obeisance by then and IF we make it past these auditions I have until “show’s air time” March 22, 2012 to master this bow.

I pushed the “send” button and instantly remembered I’d forgotten two musicians…

So, what are my tentative plans for this group? Number one on the list is to watch America’s Got Talent and see if I can catch a glimpse of some animal acts. I did see a few seconds of a parrot on Youtube, but he’d been up late the night before (in Vegas) and wasn’t talking. Ann Clifford called a few nights after the fatal “send” button and sent me to the television. A horse was coming up soon on America’s Got Talent. This horse was very quiet…abnormally quiet…and Piers (the judge) buzzed him “off”. About the “quiet” bit…just wondering if the horse was rejoicing in a vet administered “calming cocktail”. Just wondering…

I sat in front of the TV and watched the rest of the program. Gulp! These three judges wanted sensational acts. Hmmm…the horses could become sensational, but we humans probably wouldn’t be pleased.

My mind shifted to “tranquility”. Why not show the serenity and harmony of work in-hand on Canada’s Got Talent. Wouldn’t it be lovely and mesmerizing! With the right music and just a small area we could do the half-pass, shoulder-in, walk pirouette and finish with a “soft bang!” the piaffe.

Ann pointed out that, just perhaps, the stage for the performances might not be able to hold the weight of seven horses. This got me thinking. Perhaps just bring Z and Z and have the other horses featured on a big screen behind the boys.

The most interesting thing about this whole Canada’s Got Talent “thing” would be to record the reaction of the people who read our application.