A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor

Camp script
Saturday, July 2, 2005

Garrison Keillor: Summer music camp. A joyous time for your child. So many wonderful memories of practicing music (SAXOPHONE) and playing in an orchestra (TR INTENSE GERMAN, TAPPING ON PODIUM WITH BATON) and meeting other nerdy children —

Tim Russell (CHILD): Hi.

Sue Scott (CHILD): Hi.

GK: But is music camp good for your child? What if your child should actually get good at music and want to make a career of it — are you preparing your child for a life of waiting on tables because he or she lacks the vital skills necessary to succeed in a musical career?

Fred Newman: I never thought of that.

GK: Maybe you should. At the Boston Boot Camp for Band & Orchestra, we don't just encourage your child — we instill job skills. Such as telling jokes.

TR: So— the musician made this beautiful arrangement — and then his wife didn't go away for the weekend after all. (RIMSHOT)

GK: We teach punctuality. Musicians don't call in late for work. And we teach fawning and bootlicking.

SS (TEEN): I love your work, maestro — I sit and listen to your recordings in a stupefied reverie for hours at a time. I kneel at your feet. Would you like me to do your laundry?

GK: We try to teach your kids what they need to know.

FN (BRAD): Boys and girls, success in the field of music is based on three things: talent, hard work, and hair. Some of you have problems. I'm here to work with you. There is a great great deal that can be done with hair spray.

GK: And we toughen them up. The music business is no picnic. It's serious.

TR (PACING, PATTON-LIKE): All right, you violists — listen up. I'm going to say this once and only once. It is a viola-eat-viola world out there, so today, we're sending you out in the woods with only a knife. Your job? To find a horse, and cut enough hair off his tail to string a bow. And then you find a tree and cut a bough to make the bow. And then take a bow.

GK: And we introduce your child to a top agent.

TR: Wanda?

SS (TEEN): Yes?

TR: My name is Howard Wickham. — Let me be frank, Wanda — you'll never make it as a professional cellist with the name Wanda Anderson.

SS (TEEN): No?

TR: That's a name for a math teacher. You need a new name. Venice.

SS (TEEN): Venice Anderson?

TR: No, just Venice. And we're going to bleach your hair blonde and color your eyes blue.

SS (TEEN): How can you do that?

TR: Contact lenses. And you'll wear long white gowns and go barefoot. Your first CD will be called "Breathing" and it'll be mostly pavanes and tangos and it'll have a promotional budget of a quarter-million and we need to find you a boyfriend.

SS (TEEN): I have one.

FN (TEEN): Hi. I'm Todd. I'm a cellist too.

TR: A cool boyfriend. Like Sergei. (TR RUSSIAN)

GK: And finally we teach your child to deal with withering criticism.

FN: "In her hands the cello is rather unpredictable, and so her playing bore only a passing resemblance to what Dvorak wrote. Fortunately, he was dead and couldn't hear it."

SS (TEEN): Howard?

TR: Yes, Venice?

SS (TEEN): Find out where his children go to school.

TR: Right away.

GK: The Boston Boot Camp prepares your child for a career in music. And if your child wants to be a conductor, we have a course in foreign accents.

TR (ITALIAN): I am actually from Nebraska but I have learned to look and to act and to sound very Italian.

GK: Why send your children to a music camp that only sets them up for disappointment? The Boston Boot Camp for Band and Orchestra. It's the real thing.


GK: Oh if you have nice hair
Nicer than your mom's,
And if you like to play Beethoven, Bach and Brahms,
And if you're pretty smart,
Smarter than your pa,
Then you might have a nice career in orchestra.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

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