The Microphone And Me

Stage fright is my worst problem. – Andrea Bocelli

My mother used to work at an adult day care center back in the 80’s. If anyone knew the smell of old people, that was me. And I got to experience that an early age too. The wet kisses, the hand shaking of cold wrinkly hands, and pinch on the cheeks. All of it.

I was fortunate enough to go visit more than usual with my mom. I must of been three or four around the time. I don’t remember much. But I do remember this scene: The day Bozo the Clown stuck a microphone on my face.

He was a nice clown. Not like the crazy ones you’ll find in the forest today. Very much like my “Call Me Donatello” experience, I don’t remember much of what happened before or after being put on the spot light. All I could recall is uttering words only a three year can understand in to a huge metal-like ball.

My voice echoed and bounced all over and around the room. It was something I’ve never experienced before in my life. It was both terrifying and magical.

In my opinion, the only way to conquer stage fright is to get up on stage and play. Every time you play another show, it gets better and better. – Taylor Swift

The clown asked questions and I replied with gibberish. The old people laughed, and I felt exposed, naked, and scared. Why did little young me even go up to this clown? It was stage fright at it’s finest. But I accepted the challenge. I pulled the microphone away from the clown, the laughs faded, the clown stood back and I began dancing. Dancing to no music. I owned the stage and the clown knew it.

It was there where I felt fear and boldness for the first time. Sure, I was three or four, and probably didn’t even know proper English at the time. Which explains me replying back in an unknown language.

Once that microphone zoomed in to my face, I knew it was a dare. A dare to be myself. And this is how I responded.

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