So last night, I had an absolutely wonderful dream, er, nightmare.
As I stood in the darkness behind the curtain, with the laughter and crying from the performer ahead of me dying down, there was a chilling silence. The director was making my introduction to stage and the panic hit me like a ton of bricks. What the fuck am I doing? Was I on drugs when I auditioned for this thing? As I looked out into the 300+ person audience, my stomach started making crazy gurgling noises.
I knew I shouldn’t have eaten Mexican before my performance, let alone green peppers, they totally give me gas. My eyebrows were twitching and my legs were like wet, flaccid noodles. Oh my God, do I feel a bout of diarrhea coming on, out of nowhere? Why are my butt cheeks sweating and why is my heart revolting within my chest cavity? This is like… a worst-case scenario.
As I step onto the stage with my chin up and chest out, adorning a cheesy-yet-comforting smile to convey to the crowd that I’ve probably done this a thousand times… my foot catches and I stumble, catching my pants on a raised nail in the stage and tearing them up the leg. As I gracefully recover and make my way to the podium, the perspiration clings the shirt to my torso like a chubby kid in the swimming pool. The rip in my jeans cools me off, but reveals that I went commando. I start to speak, but nothing is coming out of my mouth, except my teeth. They’re falling out onto the stage one by one, until I’m left smiling at the crowd with my gums, dying for someone to pull me off stage with that cartoon cane, but it wasn’t there. The audience is laughing and pointing in slow motion as I run off stage, clinching my sweaty diarrhea butt together, kicking my teeth along the floor, scattering them backstage.
AND THEN I WOKE UP.
As a teenager, I never really had any trouble speaking in front of large groups. I was an active member of our International Relations program and even participated in Model United Nations debates. And as I got older, standing in front of the judge saying ‘I didn’t do it’ was easy, as was lying to my therapist about my true feelings. I’ve always felt at home speaking my mind.
So why am I anxious about this weekend?
This Sunday is the annual LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER performance at the Synetic Theater in Washington, D.C. There are 15 amazingly brilliant and articulate women performing original content they wrote as an homage to motherhood as we gear up to celebrate Mother’s Day. Wait. I’m sorry…
That lucky dude is me. Maybe that’s why I’m anxious and perhaps a little intimidated.
So what can I do to calm my nerves? Should I picture all of these women naked or in their underwear like the old public speaking trope suggests?
Maybe that will work… so long as I don’t have that ‘rip’ in my pants.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Are you living in the DC area and looking for something to do this Sunday afternoon? CLICK HERE to buy a ticket before it sells out, see these women perform and find out if my teeth fall out on stage!
ALSO, as part of an all-out marketing blitz (and a way for me to buy groceries next week), I’m still loitering at the bottom of my blog posts, letting you know that I wrote a book for Penguin Publishing that arrives in stores on May 7th. It’s a memoir about not only becoming a dad, but ALSO an unexpected STAY-AT-HOME dad. With Mother’s & Father’s Day coming up soon, it might make a pretty cool gift for someone you know…plus, if you pre-order it now— you’ll save like five bucks, which is a ton of money.