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Stage Fright

Sparky is so gay!As I finish up the piece I'll be reading at the next WYSIWYG Talent SHOW (it's this Tuesday at 7:00 don't miss it!) I’ve been trying to figure out of I have any stage fright waiting to burst forth and ruin the whole thing for me. I’m not feeling particularly nervous about anything except finishing my essay in time to read it, but since I’m a worrier by nature I’m trying to plan ahead. It's been about fifteen years or so since the last gasp of my amateur stage career (I quit a voice class in college because of a scheduling problem and have never performed or even tried to carry a tune in public ever since), but I’ve never been prone to much anxiety about giving presentations or wedding toasts or anything, so I’m assuming I'll be alright.

As I tried to think back to how I dealt with any stage fright in the past, though, I had a shocking realization: I can't remember a damn thing about ever being on stage before.

I never entertained any notions about being an actor or singer, but as a burgeoning young homosexual with an affinity for musicals, I was naturally drawn to opportunities of the school play. I can't imagine that I was any more than adequate, but nevertheless I took the the plunge into a handful of talent shows, a couple of musicals, a couple of musical reviews, and even a dance recital. Every one of them is a blank for me. I can't dredge up any firsthand memories of being on stage or even waiting in the wings. I can look at pictures or video footage of those moments, but they don't inspire any kind of recollection at all. I can recall surrounding circumstances easily enough the time I sang my bit while battling a raging case of strep throat, sneaking up to the lighting booth with Mark to watch a dance number choreographed to a Kraftwerk song, realizing that my body mic was still on as I changed costumes backstage but nothing about the performances themselves is there.

I suppose this is a side effect of the rush of adreneline required for a pretty shy person to put himself on the line and possibly look like a fool in public. I imagine I was so attuned to the moment and getting through it each time that I was totally focused on what I was doing, leaving no part of my mind free to process and preserve what was going on. It's a shame, because I can remember that I enjoyed the overall process of putting on a show a lot. Was I any good? Probably not great, but I don't think I ever messed up or embarrassed myself. Damned if I know, though. Hopefully, I won't be so narrowly focused on Tuesday, and I'll be able to hang on to the experience this time. Take some pictures for me, just in case.

Sparky on stage

Comments (6)

1) Chris: I think the show's actually at 7:30, but showing up at 7 to get a good seat is probably a good idea. Also, I had an email to your ultrasparky.org address just bounce, so I tried your WYSIWYG email address. Just so's you know. What's the L for? Latent? And look at that adorably floppy hairdo!! I'm swooning here. (Jun 20, 2004 1:50 PM)

2) Sparky: The "L" was for "Levi" -- I was the brother in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" who sang the country-style song. And my hair was TOTALLY asymmetric 80s hair with a bleached chunk in the front. (Jun 20, 2004 2:39 PM)

3) Dan: Ah, NYC high school productions. I'm not surprised you don't remember them. What school DIDN'T do Joseph and The Amazing Whatsits? It's hard to differentiate between shows you were in and shows that other people did...they all blended. As a fellow SIer, you might remember those "Sing" competitions done all through the city for each high school. Traning grounds for budding homos in all the outer boroughs. (Jun 21, 2004 10:45 AM)

4) Charlie: Not only did I call you as "Levi" (and I'll bet you sang "One More Angel" beautifully), I notice you were also singing "You Gotta Have Heart" as one of the Washington Senators in "Damn Yankees." Okay, maybe I AM gay... (Jun 21, 2004 11:01 AM)

5) Sparky: Ding! Ding! Ding! Charlie gets the prize for identifying not only the show, but the exact song being belted out in that last picture. I bow before his superior queenship. And "One More Angel in Heaven" actually benifitted quite a bit from my voice cracking because of the raging strep throat. (Jun 21, 2004 11:08 AM)

6) sam: So adorable in that baseball uniform. My stars! (Jun 22, 2004 10:19 AM)

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