By Stina Chyn | August 31, 2004

Maureen Troy’s short film “The Shower Singer” depicts the serious consequences of childhood trauma. Brandon (Eric Olson) is the title character, a man with an unquestionable passion for singing and the artist known again as Prince. It wouldn’t be too far from the truth to speculate that Brandon would love more than anything to be a pop star. Unfortunately, severe stage and public speaking fright brought on by an embarrassing incident at his sixth grade talent show has prevented him from realizing his dreams. Thus, Brandon can only whip out his imaginary microphone and serenade the non-existent screaming fans when he’s in the shower. With the help of his crafty sister Claire (Kristi Wirz), though, Brandon has a shot at glory.
The dynamic between brother and sister is an intriguing one. From one angle, one could argue that Brandon and Claire, as characters, are unequally developed. Comments on the brother’s character arise from merely watching the story unfold, but impressions of the sister are formed with a bit more analysis. The film reveals that Brandon has a set routine. He goes to a therapist who’s more interested in her Game Boy than his mental health problems. Brandon works at a music store (which explains why he wears the same outfit everyday), comes home, turns up the tunes from the singer who was once an unpronounceable symbol, and sings out loud.
The information the viewer gathers about Claire is not nearly as abundant, but it’s nevertheless significant. For instance, she has her own share of troubles—owing the IRS about $11,000 in back taxes. When she finds out about a “want to be a pop star” competition in which the winner will receive $25,000, she decides to takes advantage of Brandon’s predictable timetable and musical tendencies. The remaining plot details reiterate that Claire is a very determined and cunning individual. True, she resorts to scheming and using her own brother, but Troy humorously conveys that two-for-the-price-of-one specials are too tempting to pass.

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