PASA (Pennsylvania Area Songwriter’s Alliance) Summer Songfest, 2011
I thought of titling this blog entry as a “review”, but I’m hardly qualified to review the event as I only stayed for about 2 hours. I went to the Winter Songfest at the same location in Cherry Hill, NJ at one of the PASA member’s homes and enjoyed my time there, so I figured I would come for the Summer Songfest as well.
I left a step out of the mapquest directions I wrote down, which meant that I drove up and down I – 276 until I finally was able to build the courage to call Janet, the hostess, for directions to her home. Although she thought I was a telemarketer at first, she was able to give me very clear directions once I had assured her I was a PASA Songfest guest.
There were a few new faces at the Songfest, and a lot of “regulars” from the PASA group. I had planned on coming for the evening sessions only since I woke in the morning with a headache. Unfortunately, when I arrived, there was only one session left, and I happened to join a group that was not writing a new song, but going around the circle and sharing old songs they had written. Children’s Songs and Funny Songs. OK, so I chose that circle because there was a chair available. I don’t usually write funny songs, and my children’s songs are great for 1st graders to sing but not really “worthy” of releasing onto an audience of songwriters. Completely unprepared in this area, I shared the song, “Hey there, Would You Like a Pickle”. It’s a marginally funny song at best.
The Songfests always order a dinner of pizza in which everyone chips in money to buy. At the Winter Songfest, I left before pizza time, but since I was only coming for the afternoon and evening events, I figured I should opt in for the pizza. The pizza order – taking process was…strange. Instead of just taking a stipend of money and then ordering several large pizzas with a variety of typical toppings, each person was to pair up with another person and pay for half a pie. I didn’t really care what my slice of pizza had on it as long as it didn’t have meat. I was encouraged to make a half and half pie with someone who wanted sausage. (gag) I don’t think I even need to list the reasons why this is a bad idea. I also didn’t feel the need to eat half of a pizza by myself, but that didn’t matter in the end, as I paid for half a pie, but I didn’t stay for pizza anyway. The group was upset that the pizza place gave them a time estimate for delivery for 45 minutes…on a Saturday night… with a huge order of pies that are “half this, half that”. Umm…really?
Someone who’s name I won’t say made a comment about how the person that took their order at the same pizza place the last time was “English Second Language” and therefore was “really difficult” and “couldn’t add numbers”. Since my husband is ESL, and because the comment was stereotypical and rude, I was offended. I interjected that it sounded to me like it was difficult for both parties to understand each other, but this does not indicate that the employee couldn’t add numbers. Basically, I made it known that I was offended in polite a way as possible, without saying “I am offended”. Defensive catty-ness and more stereotypical comments followed, not including any apology. Yay! Songfest!
At that point, I decided that since I had a headache, there were no more workshops and only an open stage, and I didn’t want to eat half a pizza by myself, I would be better off at home. So, I left.
Will I go back to PASA meetings in the future? Probably. Will I opt – in for the pizza party? Probably not. Continue to defend people against prejudice and stereotyping? Yes.