#18 is true. The first time i was ever on stage i didn’t want to be there, and i forgot all of the words. Okay… this one is a little fudgy, but it holds up. I had obviously been on stage before this experience, whether it be to accept my treasured Christian leauge math awards (i obviously intend to bring that Christmas shows. However, that’s not where it gets fudgy; the first two times i was a featured performer on a stage was playing my recorder in fifth grade, and narrating a part of a play in fifth grade. Both events had to have happened in fifth grade because i associate them with the same teacher, and they both had to have happened at the Christmas show because the only other show was the Sping show and that was done by the middle school that year. So, i’m going on the basic assumption that the narration occurred before the recorder playing, but either way this works out because i definitely remember not wanting to play the recorder and not knowing what i was playing while i was onstage.
up once a day now), or to stand way in the background of the chorus in silly school
Anyway, there was some narration in the Christmas play about babies and mangers and love that needed to be read by someone, and anyone even remotely interested in having a part in the show had already been merrily drafted. So, the teacher in charge of casting decided that it was futile to poll the ranks of students for a reluctant actor for such an important piece of the show, but to instead draft the best reader in entire grade school. Which, happily enough, was me. However, i thought the whole Christmas show concept was incredibly silly, as we tended to do essentially the same “god is god, materialism is bad, praise the baby jesus” schtick every year, and i stubbornly refused to take the part. And, then, mysteriously, i was somehow cajoled to do it (i’m sure they preyed upon my ego, as that had to be the only way they could have convinced me).
What no one deigned to mention to me before i agreed to be in the play was that i wasn’t exactly narrating – in that i was calmly reading from a text as a narrator would – instead i was supposed to memorize the whole thing and then spit it back out convincingly while staring into the audience with a smile plastered onto my face.
I honestly tried to memorize and smile and all of that, but it wasn’t in the stars. I was terrible at memorizing things (bible verses were my dreaded nemesis), i didn’t like to be put up in front of that many people to perform (or for any other reason (other than awards, obviously)), and i had absolutely zero projection skills (i was still relatively meek, probably due to my beaver-sized buck teeth). So, when it came time for the show i was ushered out onto the stage protesting that i needed the book to read from even though they had already conceeded that i could have a microphone. So, when it came time for my moment in the spotlight (literally, right as the spotlight hit me) i gave the teacher who was on-book in the first row a combined look of imminent dread and fear, and she raced to the stage and handed me the book, and i wound up reading the narration into the microphone perfectly. The end.
(Ironically, memorization, getting up in front of people, and projection are now three of my most useful traits. I’m not sure if wound up being so performance oriented as a response to this particular incident or not, but i do always remember being vaguely jealous of the people who auditioned for parts in grade school. Also, there are lots of hints about the other truths and lies in this entry, but some of them are slightly misleading.)