It’s been said I have never met a microphone or a crowd I didn’t like. It’s also been said, primarily by my mother, that if and ant slowed down long enough, I’d make friends with it. All fair and true points.
But it’s been a while since I’ve had an audience to entertain, about four years, actually. And tonight, as part of a fundraiser, I stepped back into that world. Very interesting to note: in contrast to the self doubt I've written about as I explore this new field, I didn't feel an ounce of that standing in front of an audience again.
As I believe I mentioned last month, I’m involved in a play. A group of us, cheekily called “The Rational Actors,” (poli-sci geeks will get that joke) are currently standing up a slimmed down version of David Ives’, “All In The Timing.” I performed in this same play just over a decade ago, but I inhabit different characters this time around. I have a new appreciation for the play and for the roles I previously played. It was like seeing a take for the first time and realizing the avenues down which I could have taken myself had I taken of my own blinders.
Our fundraiser was really a talent show of sorts. One of my classmates played point guard at Bowdoin and put on a mighty basketball handling clinic while another classmate gave a small interview as Sarah Palin. The voice and commensurate level of logical eloquence were almost too accurate.
My contribution: impressions. I have been in serious Observe Mode since arriving and being thrown in with 200+ new friends from around the world. ( (many of whom are pictured above and none of whom took offense to my antics). I have learned a few mannerisms and accents and stitched them together into a half hour show. The professors and faculty were also fair game. If I said nothing else about the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, they don’t take themselves too seriously, if at all. Everyone took everything in stride. A lesson for us all.
It was good. People laughed, - if not at me then with me, or at the very least, near me. The Rational Actors pulled in some decent coin to support the arts and we all had a nice night off from the books.
But I’m back in the library tomorrow morning. Promise.