I claim neither psychic abilities nor experiences except possibly this one. I’d seen “The Marvelous Wonderettes” a month earlier with my sisters, Art Everett and Sam. Basically, it cleverly strung dozens of girl group hits into a story line of sorts. The cast – four female singers playing high school students – selected two or three people from the audience to join them on stage for non-singing roles, one of which was Mr. Lee – a high school teacher one of the students crushes on.
As soon as I saw it, l “knew” that if I could drag John to this play – no small feat considering it’s a musical with an all-female cast entitled “The Marvelous Wonderettes” – he’d be the guy that got picked to be Mr. Lee. No matter who else might be in the audience, in my premonition John was a lock.
Life rarely unfolds precisely as I picture it but today it did. John had a great time and he was terrific. If I’d been pulled on-stage – despite negative body language designed to make situations like these avoid me like cat puke on the carpet – I would’ve tried and died. John welcomes the opportunity, maybe because his day job involves speaking persuasively to relative strangers. Is he good at performing in public because of the practice he got in his career or did he select that career because he was already good at it?
I tell myself I’d like to be better at speaking in public but I’ve done nothing to make it happen. My public speaking education screeched to a halt in my junior year at Wilcox High. Consequently, I make the same mistakes today that I did at seventeen. Fear ignites a fight or flight surge of adrenalin and I race for the finish line as if pursued by a pack of rabid wolves – talking so fast I’m unintelligible. One on one, I’m usually fine. Three or more, forget it. Like my father used to say – we all have different gifts.