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  • Sam Darling

Does Dean Pelton raid Prince’s wardrobe?

Allow me to reflect on the irrepressibly quirky character of Dean Pelton on the TV show, Community.

The work of Jim Rash is superb.

The similarities between the Dean and (the-artist-formerly-known-as) Prince jumped to mind last night. Someone mentioned how odd it is for someone like Prince to have come out of a famously “normal” place like Minnesota. This fact doesn’t surprise me at all.

Not only are Dean Pelton and Prince both diminutive, pan-sexual flamboyants with a fondness for garish clothing, they would have been that way no matter where they came from. If Prince exists in an alternate timeline (and if you haven’t seen the episode of Community entitled Remedial Chaos Theory, you really should), and works as the dean of a small community college, he is still Prince. He dresses ridiculously and shows his Born This Way inner Gaga in everything he does.


[The dean of your community college in the timeline where Velcro was never invented.]

Prince will be Prince. Dean Pelton will be irrepressibly himself. And if you’re an opera singer at heart that fact will assert itself one way or the other.

If you take a cross section of the top singers in the world they come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some, like Angela Meade, grew up a typical American girl on a range of classic rock and heavy metal. She came to opera in her twenties and found a talent and passion for the craft. Others, like Cecilia Bartoli and Renee Flemming, had parents who were singing teachers and brought them into the fold at an early age.

My point is that it doesn’t matter where you start from, if you’re an opera nerd it will shine through. Whether you’re on stage or working a night shift at a gas station, your poetic operatic soul is something you carry with you in everything you do.

I use the term “nerd” here affectionately. A nerd is the opposite of cool. They are not disaffected, detached, or above it all. They are constantly geeking out over their latest obsession and they are passionate about their interests. They don’t care if they look ridiculous to the outside world. For that fact alone the world is a much more interesting place because of their shameless self assurance.

Dean Pelton

[Go head, let your freak flag fly.]

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