That’s my annoying abbreviation for the day. It stands for AWKWARD AS F***. And yes, that F is supposed to spell out something vulgar, but I am trying to stay as classy as I can here.
They are the worst.
I mean, I know a few peeps who like to talk out loud and hear themselves 24-siete, but man…
when one is not in love with speech-making (and by one I mean ME), it is just a miserable process. Why must we endure it? Thank goodness for my random theatre stint a few years back. Now when I go up in front of people I usually pretend to be someone else. Being someone else comes easy to me, I just pull out whatever comes out of my @$$ and go for the ride. In the past, I’ve used politicians as a source of inspiration. People like Eleanor Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy; I try really hard not to do the accent. It must look weird on a brown girl. However, yesterday caught me off guard.
There I was ready to talk to a bunch of dancers about the life of this famous dude, who was one of the most AMAZING performers of his time when all of a sudden (as I walked to the stage) I drew a blank.
Dammit, who to be? Who to be? Should I channel the people I’ve recently found interesting? The massage dance goddess who released jelly fish into my head, or the girl from outer space who laughed like a hyena? No, no — not them.
The second stick on the clock moved 5 spaces, and people coughed with anticipation/boredom. I took a few more steps to delay my time and like a f***ing cat did a circle around myself. I fidgeted my fingers on the page. My feet (bare because this was a dance studio after all) wet from nerves began to leave prints on the wooden floor. Forget this, I thought and opened my mouth.
I looked out towards the girl who had conveniently fallen asleep behind her shades and was now leaning against the wall with her mouth open; making her look interested and involved. Another random cough, and I finally spoke.
That is when everything changed, Reader. I mean — seriously — as a writer, you know sometimes we get into our characters heads and pretend to be different people in order to channel an authentic energy out of us and onto the page or on the stage, in this case. What came out of me, however, was a shock to everyone who has heard me speak…and to myself, actually.
It was when I started talking, and it was a serious topic too–about how lynching in the 1940’s was an inspiration for this choreographer guy, when unexpectedly this twelve-year-old girl came out out of my mouth. She came out of my mouth and materialized in front of me. Awkward as f*** little twelve-year-old Lis, scratching her left leg, standing pigeon-toed, and thinking about what English words to use because she was still in ESL.
The sound of her voice began at the back of my throat and pushed its ugly way towards the space between my nose and my forehead. For all you singers out there, you know what I’m talking about—-> The fu****g head voice. Yes, I sounded like a little girl on helium.
I kept reading from my page while looking at people (for dramatic intent), but all the while felt as if I was being possessed by some ghost. A ghost from my bratty past, who sounded just like Stephanie from FULL HOUSE (90’s reference again), lisp and all!
What. The. Hell.?.
* * *
Well, Reader, now I sit here in my room. Downing a black cup of coffee, and thinking about the way things went down yesterday. In all fairness, it wasn’t that bad of a report. And I probably didn’t sound as bad as I thought I did. In fact, I had forgotten about little Lis, and her accent from the 90’s. What ever happened to that girl? I suppose, in that moment of fear, she was the most interesting person I could think of. I am glad she got to talk and have life again. Even though it felt awk the entire time. SO AWK.