Almost a year ago in ‘A public display of ineptitude’, first open mic slot, being sick in a bucket and Edith Bouvier Beale (see here) I blogged about reading an extract at a Word Soup live lit evening.
I read The Musical Mobile, a story about an unmarried mother in the 1970s trying to stop the adoption of her baby. I made a spectacle of myself by being moved to tears by my own made-up words.
I did not blog about my second try at public performance at Lancaster Spotlight in Spring. It was soon after my hip replacement operation. I was on crutches, coked-up on painkillers and not answerable for my actions.
Needless to say, exactly the same broken crackly, croaky voice-thing happened in exactly the same place in the same story, only worse – and in front of a far larger audience.
My fine friend, David, and my daughter attended. By good fortune David was busy doing musician-prep things when it came to my slot. He said later that someone told him I’d acted out the piece with emotion. ACTED? Me acted? I’m a librarian for goodness sake. What drugged-up cripple of a librarian in their right mind chooses to act out an emotional story in front of an aghast and squirming audience?
As I hobbled from the Spotlight dais the compere said softly,
Back at seat I put my face flat on the table. A sort-of friend came by and roused me. She said,
‘That was brave.’
See, I can be dim but I know brave doesn’t mean brave in that context. I can’t quite put my finger on what it does mean. Pitiable maybe? Fool-hardy perhaps? Stark staring bonkers? Probably. But, it doesn’t mean brave, that’s for sure.
My daughter asked me, not unkindly, if I was sure I hadn’t given a baby up for adoption when I was a girl, and I’d forgotten.
Anyway. The purpose of this post last-post post is to say I’m at it again. On the advice of said daughter I’m going for something a little more upbeat this time. I’m reading an extract I’ve called Chester Blott Tells a Smutty Story here at Paul Sockett’s Outspoken at Clitheroe Castle on 21 January 2001.
Paul is being interviewed on Radio Lancashire at 3 o’clock on the same day and Jim Turner and I might be reading some work on air.
However, my radio reading can’t be from the Chester Blott extract because it is a bit rude.
I might have to read from the (honest to God made up) adoption story. Just one more time.
So, if you like that sort of spectacle - public displays of ineptitude - you know what to do.