“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” – Theodore Seuss Giesel
About a month or so ago, I participated in a Medieval Faire. That’s nothing new; I’ve been doing this for many years, first as a combatant on the chess board and then as a street character. This year, however, was the first year I was hired as a singing wench.
Yes, you read that right. A singing wench. My name was Tira McSue, and I was part of a group called Just Desserts, with four other lovely women with similarly-themed names.
I’ve never had a problem performing on stage in front of people. I’ve been in theater productions of The Sound of Music (as a nun), Jesus Christ Superstar (as a priest), and Singin’ in the Rain (as a radio announcer). But being cast as a character whose very title evokes images of nubile young women was different. I’m pushing 40. I’m short. My hair is thinning and I could stand to lose a good amount around the middle. Who would want to look at a squat, almost middle-aged woman singing bawdy songs?
But you know what? I love to sing. And if you’re doing something you love, others will feel that, too.
Our audiences were filled with men and women of all ages and body types and spirit of the faire. No one cared that I wasn’t the epitome of sexy. No one noticed that my bodice curled up at the bottom and made me look like a rotund bell instead of a lithe belle. No one laughed at me when I said raunchy things or tried to look up the kilt of a man half my age. Instead, they laughed with me and roared for more.
And I will say we sounded damn good. Part of it was talent, but part of it was enjoyment.
So here’s the thing. I could have played it safe, staying the nice, less-exposed milk maid that did magic tricks for kids (I can turn glitter into M&Ms!), or having people give me parts of speech for a medieval Mad Lib. But being a singing wench was a new experience for me and if I was afraid of looking stupid or feeling self-conscious, I wouldn’t have had the chance to do something I love.
Are you contemplating taking the plunge and doing something different? What’s stopping you?
Abigail can be found blogging with her friends about kitchen things on chickletsinthekitchen.com. You can find some of our Just Desserts on YouTube - but watch at your own risk (I’m the squat, almost middle-aged wench in purple).
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