Posted tagged ‘Show business’

Stage Fright

June 27, 2010

One of my many interests is show business and I am an agent for two up and coming singers. It is a hard job and my duties include writing the song number on the karaoke slip and taking it up to the karaoke presenter. After the song I instigate the round of applause by clapping and cheering wildly. Hopefully, this strategy will help my tenors to get discovered.

A disastrous thing happened last night that didn’t just throw a spanner in the works it threw in a 1000 piece socket set and the kitchen sink with dirty dishes. My number one singer, Steff, got nervous and couldn’t perform.

A word about Steff before we continue. Steff is a nickname in these parts for Steven. Instead of Stevie or Steve, Steff is the moniker of choice for tough guys. The irony here is that my Steff is an all round nice guy and as dangerous as soup. As a stage name it’s not particularly groovy and I keep telling him we’ll have to change it.

“Come on Steff, the show must go on.”
“I can’t. I’m a bag of nerves.”
The Karaoke guy gave us an auctioneer’s countdown to take up the mike. But after three cajoles still Steff sat still. The crowd hissed. This was strange, Steff had sang in public hundreds of times before without showing any signs of panic. The crowd threw tomatoes. Steff’s career had gone down the drain like a dropped ten bob bit. Anxiety had got the better of him and I had some empathy for him.

Twice in my life I have had the honour of being a best man. The first time I was quite young and dictated my speech without any notes, making it up as I go along (a bit like this place). I was in a state between slightly drunk and on the way to being mostly drunk where spontaneous anecdotes and some verbal tennis with hecklers made the oration a rip-roaring success.

The last time was a few years ago. One of my mates was marrying his second wife and I prepared my speech meticulously. Nobody laughed at the first few jokes. They looked good on paper but my timing was off. Stony silence descended and stern faces stared at me; the bride’s family were a serious lot. Shakily, I stumbled through the rest of it and there was not one smile in the room.

“Cheer up Steff. I know what. We’ll fly out to Spain for a short holiday.”
“No. No. No.”
Looking completely terrified I forgot that Steff had a fear of flying. Drinking my pint I consoled myself with the fact that my other client in the stable was a great warbler. Though, I’m not happy with his stage name either. I mean, who is going to listen to someone called Elvis?