tal·ent·ed: having a natural aptitude or skill for something

One of the few TV shows that my husband and I watch each summer is America’s Got Talent. It is incredible – and very entertaining! – watching so many amazing individuals taking the stage and sharing their talents and skills. Some of the acts are simply fantastic, some are just okay and many fall into the what-can-I-do-to-get-myself-on-TV category – some of which are entertaining, others not so much. The season begins with a panel of judges who decide if the act is worthy of moving on to the next stage of competition. If any of the judges dislike what they’re seeing they hit a button and a red ‘X’ lights up above the contestant accompanied by the sound of one very loud (and annoying!) buzzer. If all four judges give them the ‘X’ the act is over and the competition moves on to the next contestant. Later on in the season it’s up to the American people to do the judging and ultimately select a million dollar winner in the fall.

To encourage talented people everywhere to apply for next season the host of the show, Nick Cannon, proclaims that everyone has talent. Everyone? Everyone has talent? Hmm. I’m not so sure about that. I cannot think of a single thing that I’m able to do that even remotely falls into the TALENT bucket especially as defined above. At least nothing of merit that might win me a million dollars let alone get me past the original audition without sending each judge to slap his or her hand on that button to boot me off the stage!

I’ve never been athletic or musical or artistic. While some might say that I have a good sense of humor, showmanship and a solid sense of delivery is not my strong suit. I cannot sing or play a musical instrument. I’ve performed in community theatre but I fear my acting skills tend more toward the melodramatic than anything theatrical.

Maybe I’m overthinking this. Something a little less obvious perhaps?

I am double-jointed. Does that count for anything? The middle toe on my right foot is shorter than all the others, prompting my dad to jokingly ask me once ‘what are you – a freak’? I make a mean cheesy potato casserole and my nephew loves my cowboy beans. My ciabatta bread is to die for and my sister Theresa thinks I have great taste in movies as well as music from the 70’s. But can I take any of this to the bank?

I better not quit my day job – at least not yet.

Not unless I can come up with a really killer act where I knead the dough to make ciabatta bread with my fingers bent in the double-jointed position while Pulp Fiction plays on a large screen just over my shoulder in time with Norman Greenbaum singing Spirit in the Sky. Now THAT just might be the ticket!