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This is a question Performance

Have you ever - voluntarily or otherwise - appeared in front of an audience? How badly did it go?

(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 9:26)
Pages: Popular, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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In French Class
I had to do a mime that made me pretend I was carrying a very heavy box - for some reason.

Anyway, I git really into it, and heaved and snorted as though I was lifting something for real. Too into it. So into it that for some reason a complete body full of snot shot out of my nose, all over my imaginery-box-carrying-hands, my jumper and the floor. If they had been invented in 1980, you would have had to put out a caution wet floor sign.

I was so embarrassed for some reason*

*I think I may have been shy at blurting my body fluids. Oh... how things change.
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 12:11, Reply)
I once did a Puppetry of the Penis Performance.
I say 'puppetry of the penis', it was more a waving my cock around at passing motorists.
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 12:01, 2 replies)
Why? What is it about me?
When I was 6 or 7, I played the 'Little cripple boy' (that's what he was called at the time, there's probably a PC name for him now, but that's what he was to me in the mid 80's, so for the puroses of this story, that's what he shall remain), who gets left behind when the Pied Piper of Hamlyn takes all the other children away to his...well..wherever it his he takes them. His peado-cave, presumably. Now, I didn't ask to be the cripple boy and I didn't want to be the little cripple boy, but my teacher decided I would be perfect for the role of the little cripple boy. So I played the little cripple boy.

I hobbled around on my crutches, and when the rest of the case were led away, down the aisle between the seats in the school hall and out the door while I gamely failed to keep up, I was left alone and weeping in a room full of adults staring at me and feeling sorry for me. I hated playing the little cripple boy.

That summer my parents moved house and I started a new school in the new school year. The summer term passed and Christmas came and undettered by my previous humilation, I wanted to be in the school play (not that I would have had a choice anyway, the whole school had to be in it). or at least, I did want to be in the school play, until we were told it was going to be The Pied Piper Of Hamlyn and that they thought I'd be perfect to play...

...you don't really need me to tell you, do you?
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 11:17, 7 replies)
I was at one time something of a bully
A ruffian, an intimidator of the weak. It was all a big performance of course, for the big lads I was trying to impress - we all knew where the real power lay, but as long as I performed, I was accepted into their circles. I shouted, I threatened, I intimidated, I appeared with aggressive intent - all a big act, but it put the frighteners up the flash little twerps. But, acting the hard man, I made the classic mistake of thinking no-one would mess with me, and of course I was wrong, so after overstepping the mark I had to lie low.

Trouble is, for every bully like me, there's a dozen waiting to step into my shoes. So getting away was difficult. I managed to hide out in the basement of a grungy old flat, where the occupants were aging hippies completely away with the fucking fairies. Weirdos. One of them used to be a singer or something - quite a performer, in his own way. Old rubberlips, the maid called him. Turned out we had more in common than I first realised, as I only fully realised when the big lads came and shot him/me.
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 4:29, 5 replies)
The many tales of unintentional exhibitionism here remind me that it's most unsporting of a train full of commuters to sneak up on you when you're shagging in a field.
There's a stretch of the Manchester line between Sandbach and Crewe which, 30-odd years ago, had subsided so much that trains used to have to crawl along it in case the rails had buckled.

Late one sunny afternoon, two mates of mine decided to enjoy a little alfresco rumpy-pumpy in a discreet corner of an overgrown field some way away from their homes, next to a hedge behind which, they didn't immediately realise, was the railway embankment.

Along came the train. It was doing a very quiet 5 miles an hour and the bored passengers had little to do except stare out at the uninspiring Cheshire landscape. When they caught sight of my two naked friends cavorting among the dock leaves, word spread, and soon the train windows were crowded with gleeful spectators.

I might add at this point that the couple were healthy individuals with a combined weight of about 36 stones so they didn't exactly blend into the background. After they'd looked up and spotted their audience, they decided that fleeing while pulling on clothing was less dignified than simply carrying on with the show. They shrugged, changed ends and were still rolling around long after the train had trundled slowly out of sight.

That slow bit of track was probably also quite popular among the P-Way men who worked on it because local girls used to flash their boobs at them from the train. A cruel joke the girls played on newcomers to the practice was to initiate a flash at the point where the train started to slow, so that instead of the intended quick glance, the workers got a longer, more interesting look.

The line was eventually shored up and the trains pass by at normal speed these days. More convenient for passengers but probably less fun.
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 22:37, 6 replies)
In my teens, went camping with a bunch of friends.
After a particularly vigorous and extended bout of doggy-style with gf (remember, I was a teenager), we were a little non-plussed to hear cheers and clapping from around the campsite.
Then we noticed how the candle in the tent was projecting our silhouettes in pin-sharp detail onto the opposite side.
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 18:29, 13 replies)
My best show ever..
I am a dancer.I have been on stage literally thousands of times.I have danced with Jennifer Lopez,Janet Jackson and a few other famous-esque people.But my best show ever was when I had to go and pay a visit to an elderly,almost dead relative in a hospice.My mother (bloody woman),piped up "OOOOOOHHHHHH,I bet they´d all love to see you dance".......Cue a red-faced Shirleytemplesarse doing a Justin Timberlake in a manky "Games Room" in front of a group of bemused,dribbling octogenarians with no music and accompanied by arhythmical clapping courtesy of Mother,and random squeaks and groans from my captive audience.

However,despite this not being the kind of thing you want people to see on youtube,I have never been more proud and moved by the reaction.The reason is,that after my little recital,my elderly relative boomed "NOW THAT´S DANCING,NOT THAT FUCKING JIGGING ABOUT THEY MAKE US DO IN HERE,FOR CHRIST´S SAKE"...and another old lady with no hair said she felt like she´d just seen an angel.

Mother burst into tears,bless.

Sorry it´s not funny,but I like it.So ner.
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 16:59, Reply)
Accidental concert
Driving my car along listening to the radio, on a nice sunny Friday afternoon on comes "I touch myself" I start singing along, when I stop for a red light. I'm sat singing along, really getting into it, the way you can only sing alone in the car. The lights turn green and I'm about to drive off when I notice some young mother and her three children stood by me with wide eyed expressions of disbelief on their faces. Apparently a quiet stroll in the sun with your children is somewhat ruined by a scruffy looking early 20's guy pulling up alongside you in his car with the window down, singing a song about masterbation.

I laughed all the way home.
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 16:42, 1 reply)
Some tasks are better done without an audience.
One fine summer, myself and a host of friends took off up to Glen Etive for a long weekends worth of camping. If you've never been, go, it's beautifull. Well, we parked up the cars, and hiked down a trail for a while, pitched tents and ran around like loons on mushrooms. I guess part of the attraction was the isolation and lack of facilities, so needless to say there was no toilet. Eventually, after a few days, the need became too great and I had to go curl one out. I walked down the lochside a bit, taking care to put a massive boulder between myself and camp, for privacy. Just as I passed the point of no return, with my kecks round my ankles, I heard the putputputputput sound of the Loch Etive tour boat coming round into view. It was a lovely sunny day, the deck was full of tourists with cameras and binoculars.

So yes, I have done a shite in front of a large audience of men, women and children. A proud moment.
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 15:00, 4 replies)
Only from behind
I work for my local newspaper in the less fashionable end of the Western Spiral Arm of the Galaxy (aka North-east Scotland) and having both First Minister "King" Alex Salmond I, Donald Trumps new playground golf course, large agricultural centres (more cows than sheep before the comments start), that village thats in Local Hero and assorted other Tartan tourist traps, the back of my head makes a fairly regular appearance on TV news when the one film camera that the BBC allow outside of Glasgow, or indeed the single one that is owned by STV (and I am not making that up) make it this far North.
My family have gotten adept at picking me out
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 14:57, 2 replies)
The early years
Aged 7 I think, I played a little piano tune that I had written to an audience of "interested" parents. As I was finished, an almost menacing silence took a hold of the auditorium. My piano teacher rose to the occasion, reminding the people of the fact that this had been written by a child. Some pitiful claps were the response, but they came from frighteningly pale men with a blank stare and a decisive aura of aggression. I silently left the building through the rear exit. Nobody ever mentioned said evening to me again, but I don't think it really was that bad.
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 13:12, Reply)
In which grandmasterfluffles is presented with an unexpected challenge at a wedding gig
I’m a professional musician, and have probably played live in front of literally millions of people over the last few years. It’s just like any other job really - you just turn up and do it, and things very rarely go horribly wrong. However, I came across quite a challenge last Friday. Nobody tells you when you’re at music college that as a working musician, your powers of keeping a straight face under trying circumstances may be tested to the limit.

During the summer months, I spend an inordinate amount of time playing in string quartets at weddings. Weddings are very easy gigs. Everybody's always really happy with what you do, the music is pretty much always the same whatever quartet you're working with so there's very little sight reading involved once you know the repertoire, and it’s amazing how much free champagne you can get if you make friends with the waiters. They all tend to sort of merge into one when you work at them a lot. All the venues look exactly the same, they all want bloody Pachelbel's Canon when they walk down the aisle, the guests usually totally ignore us to the point of getting bows poked in their backsides from standing too close, and by the end of the day everyone’s too pissed to notice that the quartet is also pissed.

Friday was looking to be just another identikit wedding. Former stately home in Surrey? Check. Lots of fake tan amongst the guests? Check. Pachelbel? Check. The bride turned up on time, Pachelbel was dispatched as she walked down the aisle, the best man hadn’t lost the rings - everything was fine until we got to the vows. The couple had written their own vows - in rhyming couplets. Oh yes, they were in rhyming couplets! Rhyming couplets that didn't even scan properly! It was worse than Vogon poetry - at least with Vogon poetry, the victims were given ample warning. This moving work of poetic genius just came out of the blue.


All of the fake-tanned wedding guests were sniffing into their hankies and I was just struggling to retain composure by hiding behind my cello and thinking very hard about dead babies.
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 12:43, 15 replies)
I once lasted 7 minutes
That was my best ever performance.
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 11:22, 4 replies)
Rag tag collection of college rock wannabees, we aim to open at the Battle Of The Bands,
I the bassist am forced to sing as no-one else wants to apart from the keyboardists's sister who wants to do 'Alone' by Heart, the rest are up to me. 1st track underway, nerves a plenty and I find that the foldback monitoring isn't working so I can't hear my self sing and so waver about wildly off the note until I realise it's all gone wrong and emergency drop to a growling raasklaat accent to compensate for no tunefullness. Scrape through a the performance and come 2nd to a band doing very good Cult covers.

Next year, we say, NEXT YEAR will be different. The guys have been bet that we couldn't pull off doing a track called 'The Trees' by Rush and we insist that we can. Many practices, much success off the stage anyway. It is our second track of the set and all starts off swimmingly, me singing and bassing it, the percussioin light as a feather and the guitarist hits the main verse hard. After the first bridge "there is unrest on the forest and the creatures all have fled, as the maples scream oppression and the oaks just shake their heads", another 10 bars of ply out to the middle section where the keyboard insinuates its slippery reedy sound into the aftermath of the final crash....except it doesn't, the rig muppets forgot to plug in the keyboard at the sound check. A stunned 3 seconds of silence and then the guitarist snaps out of it, yelling to me 'TAKE IT FROM THE 5s GERRY' and we fall back into the song easily, if somewhat guiltily. Finish up with a version of The Timewarp which to our astonishment elicited a mosh pool at the front. Unfortunately that time we came 2nd to Fridge Death as extreme grunge and shrieking noisy grind had come to Stourbridge.... ah well.

*Thinks it might be time to roll out the old bass guitar again for the first time in 21 years....*
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 9:32, Reply)
The Amazing Scarpetti featuring Alliterative Assistant
I was a spoddy little child really. I preferred reading and drawing to running and jumping. Still do actually. This meant many trips to the library (remember those, kids? Make use of them while we still have a few left), and one of these trips resulted in me coming home clasping a book called something like 'Clowning: Learn to be a clown in 25 easy clowning lessons for clowns' so that I could learn to be a lion tamer...no, wait...I mean a clown. I learnt how to put on a clown face. Except we didn't have face paints as such, although Mum was perfectly delighted to lend me her blusher and foundation and eye shadow and lipstick. Well, I am sure she would have been had I asked anyway, I mean, when she saw me she did say 'Oh, fine, just help yourself to my expensive make up without asking, no one ever asks me anything anyway', so I assume she was happy. The book also told me how to make clown clothes, but that seemed like hard work, so I just borrowed my Dad's red dressing gown and his slippers and made my brother wear my Mums. Then there was a chapter about juggling, but that seemed to complicated, and anyway, all I really wanted to do was the egg smashing trick, so off to the fridge I toddled.

And I was ready to go. I told Mum and Dad to sit on the sofa and sent my brother on to the 'stage' (the living room rug). He had his instructions, he was to stand around looking stupid (he won't have found that tricky) and wait for me and when I walked in he was to turn and face me. I'll give him his credit, he playe his part to a tee. He looked spectacularly stupid in Mums flowery dressing gown, fluffy pink slippers and with blue eye shadow spread liberally across his face. He turned at the right time as I pretended to trip over the edge of the rug and smashed two eggs straight into his face. I expected applause for my hilarious trick, but the turmoil around me as my shocked brother cried, my mum shrieked, my egg covered brother screamed, my mum swore, my yolky brother ran, my mum chased him all came as a surprise. And I was plagued by a nagging doubt that I had done something wrong. After a severe telling off, a dressing (and washing) down, I was dispatched to my room in disgrace where I picked up my clowning book and read in more detail how things were supposed to have gone. Ah, yes, I was supposed to make holes in the ends of the eggs and blow them first.

Still, it wasn't all bad. My Dad hadn't been able to help with the clean up operation because he couldn't stop laughing.
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 9:28, Reply)
The Far Side Of The Moon
I try to get in front of as many audiences as I can. In 2003, it meant joining the 135 candidates running in the California Gubernatorial Recall Election campaign. The established news media tried to shut off coverage of so many candidates, so we candidates banded together to help maximize media coverage.

Early in the campaign, about 60 of us candidates met on the deck of the USS Hornet aircraft carrier museum, which is docked at Alameda, in San Francisco Bay. After our meeting, we descended the gangplank and deigned to meet the media. In turn, the media did their best to kick our pretensions out from under us.

I noticed the clever folks from Fox TV-2 in Oakland carefully panning my face at close range with a camera with a very wide-angle lens. At last, I thought, I'm getting the attention I deserve!

That evening, I received a phone call from a friend in San Jose. Together with campaign event coverage, Fox TV-2 had also aired my footage on the evening's television news. The camera panned my face so closely that ancient acne scars became magnified into majestic lunar craters. Minor wrinkles became vast canyons. My nose loomed like an asteroid. Plus, they played ominous music - something along the lines of the 'Jaws Theme'. My friend was laughing so hard he could barely speak.

It was worth it, my friends, because THAT is how the American democratic tradition works.
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 7:20, Reply)
Gracie Fields
I was about 13,and sang a Gracie Fields song in the school concert. In a piercing falsetto, in a dress and a wig. Drag was not then in the lexicon but the other boys knew that something was very very wrong.
(, Wed 24 Aug 2011, 2:47, 2 replies)
no i have not
(, Tue 23 Aug 2011, 23:54, 2 replies)
I have been lucky enough
Not to have to perform in front of an audience as me, for a very long time. Any time I have to even introduce myself to a group, the adrenaline kicks in and I start shaking like a shitting dog, even when I don’t really think I feel nervous.

I do however have to appear as someone else almost every day.
I work as a sign language interpreter so I am usually up in front of people, such as groups of teenagers at college, arty farty types at festival talks and events, information events, wedding speeches, suited and booted serious types at work meetings or training or conferences, anything you can imagine doing in your life, I could be there sat in front of you. Being someone else. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, the only important thing is that I understand what is being signed/said or that my clients understands me.

Most people are interested enough to watch for a bit to see what is going on with that lady flapping her hands around at the front, then generally lose interest and concentrate on the speaker.

All audiences have one thing in common though, no matter who they are.

You can 100% guarantee that the second, THE VERY SECOND any one utters the words, shit, fuck, bollocks, erectile dysfunction, vagina, marijuana, cocaine, fuck, sex, breasts, balls, penis, nipples, semen, cock, wanker, thrush, bullshit, masturbation, poo, wee, diarrhea or any other 'rude' word you can think of, every single eye in the house will turn to me, and look to see ‘Ooooooooooo how do you sign THAT!’

Even after 10 years of doing it, I still sometimes find myself blushing.
(, Tue 23 Aug 2011, 21:15, 21 replies)
Too good.
Every year near the school I went to as a teenager, a local business would (in conjunction with the county council etc.) hold a day called "X"*. The aim of this day was to teach children about the dangers of strangers and doing what they asked you to. Kids would go around in groups of eight or nine through various different scenarios with the help of policemen, factory workers and (this is where I come in) sixth-form volunteers, all of whom had special badges identifying them to the kids as being legitimate. For some of the tasks you were required to leave your badge off, lead the kids into temptation, then be "arrested" by a friendly policeman.

I spent a fairly enjoyable week luring kids onto fake building sites and persuading them to take tic-tacs out of prescription medicine bottles, and you could really see the difference in attitudes as the day went on.

However. At no point did they check to see if I really was a sixth-former and not some wandering lunatic. They asked me to pretend to rob the tuck shop and to give credence to the act, they gave me a hatchet. A real one, if slightly blunt. I did wonder if they had read their own promotional material.

The performance side of this harks back to my time persuading the kids to take MASSIVE DRUGS. I was walking across the school playing fields about a month later when two ten year old girls with their big, hulking dads spotted me and shouted "LOOK DADDY! IT'S THE DRUG DEALER!" "HE TRIED TO SELL US DRUGS!" It seems I was rather too convincing, and only some very fast talking kept me with all my teeth in my head...

*Name not mentioned for perhaps obvious reasons.
(, Tue 23 Aug 2011, 21:06, Reply)

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