This past week I got to play judge at an event called “Hoosier Idol”.  It’s an annual event at the Indiana Roof Ballroom hosted by the Mental Health Association of Indiana.

Along with WISH-TV’s Jim Shella and WTHR-TV’s Angela Buchman, we got to judge a number of “legislative acts” just like the judges on American Idol.

Yes, Indiana lawmakers have a lot of hidden talents, and some of those talents should stay hidden.   (Hey, that’s my job as a judge).  But a lot of them can really surprise you.

State Senator Mark Messer plays the trumpet and the cello.  State Senator Melanie Wright has quite the dance moves  (The name of her troupe was “Right to Work It”).  State Senators Pete Miller and Erin Houchin could probably take their singing voices on the road to Vegas and there’s something about State Representative Cindy Kirchofer yodeling and wearing a traditional Swiss outfit that makes me want to grab a cup of hot chocolate.

The goal of the evening is to raise money for mental health.  And afterwards most of us go out and enjoy each others company over cocktails and conversation.

Not only was the evening a blast and for a good cause, I also felt it was good for what I call the “Statehouse psyche”.    Let’s face it, if you think Indiana has taken it on the chin in the past few weeks, you should been at ground zero when all this was going on.  It was not a fun place.

However, when everyone was in a place where they could not only have a good time, kid each other in good humor and  do their part, both Republican and Democrat, for a good cause it really helped change the atmosphere and did wonders for our own mental health.

I was glad to be a part of it and look forward to next year’s event, however, I’ll take a pass on the Elvis impersonator.