Oct 11, 2013

Not Funny

So, when I'm presenting something alone in front of a group of people, my hands tremble, or I get lightheaded and start blabbering rubbish, or I can literally feel my heartbeat going crazy. At the very least, it feels like my head's in a whirl. It could be something like standing in my seat to ask a question or even remaining seated and reading out a piece I wrote, or having a small solo role in a group singing performance. That's the worst, because my hands and voice start shaking, and it's a friggin' SOLO. The only few times I haven't had this problem include leading during Christian Fellowship at Yale-NUS, and, like, maybe a couple of SOT preaching tests out of the 5 we did.

Having a full script dramatically reduces my chance of my head going blank and spinning. When I did the super-fun Sports Updates announcements in ACJC during the sports season (GOOOOD MORNING AC!!!!!), I had a full script with pauses drawn in with a marker and stuff, but I still spoke really fast and apparently I looked like I was bouncing about 'cos I was tiptoeing at the podium. My preaching tests were also fully scripted. I guess it's a bit different when I'm reading out my creative writing pieces because those are personal and important to me. 

Dancing is very different because you're in a large group (at least the dancing I've done, anyway); you're a small part of something big and you don't speak, you don't stand out, and your role is to be a building block in a masterpiece. That's fine. You put on an identity of collective anonymousness, bigger than yourself yet not yourself. I miss that. I miss dancing the Crescent Dance way - no big technique, just a lot of energy, because I can't do technique for nuts. 

Singing in an acapella group when I don't have any solo part is okay. I like being in the background. I like harmonising because you're in the background but still adding in your little bit of flavour. And you can do whatever you want with the harmony. 

Now, I really don't like going up in front of a group of people to do stuff. If it's scripted it's okay. But definitely not when it's supposed to be entirely unscripted, spontaneous. And especially, ESPECIALLY, not when it's supposed to be remotely funny or creative.

The last and only other time I ever did something like this was at the OM tryouts in AC. I did NOT know you were supposed to be funny. I thought it was just some problem-solving thing. And the only reason I went was that my OGL was hosting the tryouts and he was convincing us to go and I was the OG rep. The whole hour I was in that room I wanted to die. Just dissolve and die zomg. 

Today I honestly wanted to exit the room halfway because I was feeling so incredibly uncomfortable, but I stayed, because my good friends are really good at & passionate about what they do. 

I mean, the most important thing is confidence. You can walk up there and make a fantastic joke but if you sound small and uncertain people won't laugh (or they will out of an uncertain sort of pity). If you tell a really lame joke but are really confident throughout people will laugh anyway. It's all about the aura. Yeah I felt like dissolving today. It was great, though, and my friends are fantastic. I just really don't belong in some situations. 

When I read out a piece of writing, the best response is usually a moment of heavy silence, followed by applause. It's supposed to leave something hanging in the air, leave you with a heavy note, a thought that demands attention, silent contemplation. I'm not used to this whole unscripted funny thing. It's really a bit scary. The people who can do it, though, are geniuses. Especially if they're from Singapore. Lateral-thinking government-edcuation-system-defying geniuses.

On a side note, this school is full of them. Geniuses. I was just really lucky to have applied in a round where few people had even heard of the school. Like, in my round, 800 people applied and like 90 got in or something. In contrast to Round 2, where there were like 10,000 applications and 100+ acceptances? You can't even compare that. I was just really fortunate. So I shouldn't really feel bad about being really incompetent. I mean, they're geniuses. I'm less-than-average in a school of geniuses but at least that just means I've got so much to learn from. 

I might think about going back for an improv workshop sometime, maybe. Because I love seeing my good friends doing what they love so passionately. Even if I spend the couple of hours wishing I wasn't there. Then I'd just mentally smack myself for not learning from the same lesson a third time now.


Fang Jiunn Ewe said...

I went to the OM tryouts with Nick Wong, not knowing what OM was. We were dying in there.

Hannah Karen Ho said...

HAHAH i know right