Sunday, December 07, 2003

Of Miss La, Mr. Somber, and Lady Nerves

The Christmas performance...happened. I was so disgusted that I cut immediately after we stopped speaking. I had several friends in the audience who tried to comfort me about it, but we were heading for dinner afterwards at a Japanese steak house and the conversation quickly diverted to sushi and who can't eat mushrooms and how can we talk about sex while there are two very underage but highly attentive (in the "little pitcher" sense) children at the table who weren't ours and who were looking at us with a warning/fearful expression.

Still, to complete my venting -- one member, whom I shall call Miss La, is quite youthful. She has some talent and is being educated to use it. She can be occasionally unbearable as all young people in her age group can be. Now, it is customary when giving a performance with the Reader's Theatre to dress as if one were going somewhere very nice -- for women, a nice skirt or pantsuit, heels, makeup, tasteful jewelry. For men, slacks and shirt, or a suit or blazer. This being a Christmas performance, we were going for "festive". It isn't like anyone has to buy special clothes. Clean and tasteful, office clothes or nice evening wear, or church clothes.

Miss La wore tight, faded and somewhat stained jeans across her generous hips, a red stretch top, and flip flops displaying a bright and not-that-good pedicure. She complained a lot about being cold (for Florida, it's chilly right now). For going to a movie and eating a hamburger, she looked fine. For performance, she looked pretty damn sloppy. It also, in the minds of all those people older than she who were there to be looking, felt very flippant and "fuck you" -- to us and to the audience. I suspect she was aware of this. I also suspect her lack of decorum will be brought to her attention. Hell, the shirt would have been ok if she'd put on shoes and some slacks.

This was a noticeable although in reality minor problem. Major problems were also there.

I kept choking. This made me disgusted with myself.

Lady Nerves -- a terribly sweet and wonderful lady with a high, tight, vibrating tendency in her voice -- just about flew apart on one piece, starting off at her highest point and trying to get higher (which hurt) although she recovered later and did quite well.

Mr. Sombre -- slow on cues, didn't get off the couch to read for one story (we have seats but stand when we are reading), and read in such a slow, predictable, bored, voice -- every word getting the same weight, long pauses between sentences or phrases, with little varience in tone -- I wish I could describe in writing how he sounds. If you've ever heard Garrison Keillor reading when he's being serious or poignant, you've got an inkling. Mr. Somber does it without Keillor's expressiveness and vocal range. So boring a reading, so dull and uninteresting and replete with "why am I doing this when I could be watching infomercials" emotion, I simply don't know why he does it. Why does he participate?

The "Visit from St. Nick" went about as badly as I expected, except there were few children, and many embarrassed adults who did not -- as predicted by me, Cassandra of the Reader's Theatre -- know the words. We fell back on bad jokes mid poem. Couldn't be helped. SOMEONE had to get a laugh.

In summary, the performance sucked and while I might do something to improve what I did, I can't do a damn thing about what anyone else did. I can't even properly come up with a way to express what I heard and saw and was thinking while there.

Luckily, the rest of the evening went better, as we sat around the (alcohol gel) fire with friends and drank wine and told True Stories of Sex and discussed at length just how many sexual experiences of every 10 could be bad before you Just Did Something (or someone) Else.

(there's a max of 3 if just dating and 5 if married)

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