I wanted to do it. I had planned to do it. I went there with the full intention of doing it. But in the end, stage fright prevailed, and I absolutely, positively, could not do it.
Saturday night was “Improv Night” at the 2nd Story Playhouse in Ilwaco. This activity is hosted by the Peninsula Players every third Saturday of the month, unless they have a play in production. And it’s free.
Well, as my loyal readers know, I’ve been trotting off to Raymond to work with the Willapa Players (see link in sidebar) a couple times a week for the past five or six weeks. I’ve become comfortable climbing up on the stage and reading the lines of any absent actors, and I truly I thought I’d gotten over my fear of making a fool of myself in public.
Apparently, I was grossly mistaken.
Over dinner prior to the event, my friend Patty and I discussed whether we would be participants, or merely go to watch the fun. Patty has acted onstage before, but not in this community, and wanted to just see how the whole thing worked first. I refused to commit to anything at all, but secretly I thought I would join in.
There were several different activities. One involved drawing a first or last line for a dialog and finding a way to work the two together. Two activities were tag-team events, where you voluntarily went up and jumped in when you had something to add to the dialog. Another partnered you up ahead of time and then the two of you went up together to act out the scenario you had drawn.
I watched. Listened. Waited for inspiration. I had a lot of good ideas. I was almost there. Almost. Patty was totally there. She was ready. She wanted to partner with me for the last activity and go for it. And there I sat, totally frozen to my seat in abject fear.
So Saturday night I discovered I’m not quite ready to perform in front of any kind of an audience. Not even among people who were all just there to be silly and play around and have a great time. I knew I wasn’t going to be criticized or judged in any way, and I still couldn’t do it. So what’s with that?
I’m chalking it up to yet another “learning experience” and leaving it on my Bucket List—the list of things to do before I kick the bucket. That gives me plenty of time to get over it and get up there. Maybe even on the third Saturday of April. This April.
I want it to happen. I plan for it to happen. I fully intend for it to happen. And you know, it really could happen… Any bets?