Full Out

Inside Ohio Show Choir is a feature-length documentary film that follows four unique high schools over one school year’s competitive show choir season. Fully representing the diversity and specificity of Ohio, the members of Garfield Heights Music Express, Ross Legacy, Solon Music in Motion, and Strongsville Mustang Express try their best to claw their way to the top of the heap in this idiosyncratic subculture full of rhinestones, sweat, and six-foot trophies.

Of course, it’s easier for some groups to walk away from competition victorious than it is for others. While certain groups struggle to recruit and maintain members due to hefty participation fees and low average family income, other groups lavish in the splendor of a six-figure budget and ample administrative support. Facilitating a never-ending game of one-upmanship with their history of extravagantly-themed fifteen minute shows, financially viable choirs sport custom-made costumes, sets, and sometimes even props. Lesser supported choirs, on the other hand, rely on guts, candor, and heart to get ahead.

Show choir is not casual: this highly insular world requires hundreds of rehearsals, meetings, and brainstorming sessions, generally unpaid for the directors steering the ship. Kids juggle jobs, school, family, friends, AND their beloved hobby in Full Out, on top of the standard high school trials of exploring one’s sexuality, spirituality, and place in the world. Weird kids, gay kids, popular kids, jocks, alt kids, burnouts-- they all have a place in the world of show choir, and for many, it all comes down to what happens onstage at competition. When you’re a teenager, everything feels like a matter of life and death: when you’re a teenager in show choir, you are utterly certain that it is.