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Magic Choral Trick #73 Happy Birthday Mr President (Trim Tab)

Marilyn’s iconic performance has been seared into our public consciousness – so that when I need a choir to sound a little breathless, a little amazed or a little awestruck I ask them for Happy Birthday Mr President.

I’ve found this much more effective than asking them to write ‘pianissimo’ or ‘piano’ and ‘slightly breathy’ into their scores. It’s as if it’s a cultural shortcut. And this saves time and explanation.

Once upon a time I heard about the concept of a trim tab. Here’s the Wikipedia explanation: (you may have to copy and paste)

But here’s the gist of what I was told.

A trim tab is a thin strip at the edge of a rudder that can be adjusted using only a very slight amount of force. Once this has been adjusted, the rudder will move easily, and the entire ship can turn.

I figure that if we’re keeping our eyes open, we’ll start to see that there are trim tabs in every facet of our lives, and trim tabs for every problem. These aren’t just shortcuts, though they will save time, but they also seem to clarify our objectives so that everyone ‘gets it’ at once, and what we all thought would take massive force, effort and struggle suddenly just happens.

I’ve identified what I think are a number of choral trim tabs in these posts. (Elastic Bands, the Brass Buzz, Jerry Lewis, the Jin Shin Jyutsu Holding Points, Zzzzzz, the Central Meridian Sweep…….) Very small actions that have wonderful, huge consequences.

However, I’m always thrilled to hear about new ones. If you know of any of life’s trim tabs – any at all – I’d love to hear about them.

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