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Talent Show 2000, as documented by Rex Valence:
February 18, 2000 - Talent Show Rehearsals
There were new people in charge of the Talent Show this year, so we
signed up. They had very few acts sign up, so everyone was permitted in
the show. We did an improv-noise set for rehearsals using a 1983 Atari,
a 160 in 1 science kit, and a digital synthesizer. It was somewhat
harsh, but they still let us in because they had so few performers for the
February 19, 2000 - Talent Show 2000
We spend the majority of our afternoon preparing for the show. By the
time everything was ready, we arrived at the venue at 7:30 PM (starting
time of the show). Two large posters, reading "The Joysticks Have
Talent" with a picture of an Atari computer system, were hung at the
entrance of the auditorium. We constructed flyers that said: "Th3
J0y5t1ck5 Batt13 th3 5can F33d R3lay t0 Y0ur 5kull present 'What a Girl
Wants (Y2K Apocalypse Mix).'" A schematic was placed under the text, and
at the bottom, the flyer read: "An avant-garde interpretation of an
in-depth Y2K 'failure' analysis from a female's perspective." These were
distributed at the entrance to the auditorium as well. For some unknown
reason, we were selected as the headlining act of the show. Richard and
I sat in the audience for the majority of the show, getting a laugh out
of most of the performances. During this time, many people from the
Pittsburgh avant-garde and electronic scenes began to arrive. It was
really amusing to see all of them at a high school talent show. Richard
and I went backstage for some last minute preparations during the
second half of the show. We instructed some of the people back there
to move our table of electronics onto the stage when it was our turn
to perform. After the second to last act (acoustic guitar duo) completed
their set, there was a bit of a delay because Richard and I were not in
the backstage area. People began yelling various Joysticks' propaganda
slogans, and the anticipation for our performance was building to immense levels.
Side Note: At this point in our career, everyone has seen
or heard of the destructive tendencies of The Joysticks. And,
just about everyone in our school has heard the story of our
dismissal from the last year's show because of pyrotechnics.
Everyone was expecting an action packed show filled with
explosions and broken computers.
We were permitted to write our own introduction, so the MC came out and
read: "And now, for what N'Sync calls the 'sexiest act on the boy band
market' performing 'What a Girl Wants, Y2K Apocalypse Mix,' The
Joysticks Battle..." A red light began to shine on our table of
electronics, and after a few seconds, Richard and I busted in from the
back of the auditorium wearing HAZMAT suits. We made our way down the
aisles, and the crowd erupted into cheers. Richard entered the stage
from the right side, plugged in all of our equipment, and I entered from
the left side. Our equipment set-up was simply a television, VCR,
amplifier, and two Tascam Porta 03 Ministudio 4-tracks. The television
was playing a Merzbow video (live in Germany) for visual effects because
it is filled with nonstop strobe lights. We arranged the lighting in the
auditorium so we had constant, pulsating, flashing, red lights throughout
our entire performance. My 4-track was run threw the PA system
and had a loop of the MC saying "the sexiest act," although it just sounded like a
high-pitched noise loop. Richard's 4-track was run through his amp, and
it played a harsh noise loop. We stood there completely still in the
HAZMAT suits, with the two noise loops playing. We continued to stand.
This went on for an approximated 10-12 minutes. A great portion of the
crowd began to leave, and many people said they began to feel sick after
a while. Much of the audience that stayed in the auditorium had hands
over their ears throughout the majority of the performance. After 10-12
minutes, someone pulled the electricity on us and closed the
curtains. Richard and I walked out in front of the curtains as they were
closing them and stood there in silence. The crowd that was still there
gave us a great deal of support in cheers and applause. The teachers
running the event were extremely angry at us because we basically disoriented
the entire crowd. After we finally exited the stage, we went backstage
to put our gear away. During this time, it was announced that
we won second place! We had some friends on the judging panel, and
everyone that lost to us was extremely upset and disgruntled. We were
really the only act that participated in an effort not to win. We walked on stage,
Richard yelled into the microphone, then said "I want to show you all
how to rock," and began playing an electronic guitar into the microphone
when the one teacher grabbed the mic away from him, in a very aggressive
manner. That was basically the conclusion of the performance. Overall,
we alienated just about everyone there who knew us and angered everyone
who didn't. As an added bonus, we damaged a bunch of peoples' senses and
made a few sick. A fight broke during our set, and although nothing is
confirmed, we would like to believe our noise loops played a part in
their aggression.

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