I [Can’t] Show You The World

Little Man developed an interest in acting last year and got involved with the community playhouse. My husband and I were thrilled to see him so interested in something that wasn’t Fortnite or Transformers. (Both of those are awesome, but variety, yo.) We were talking about the acting thing several weeks ago, and my husband said he wondered who he got his talent from, since it wasn’t from us.

That reminded me of a story from when I was in middle school, because I actually did attempt a couple of plays when I was younger.

Eighth grade wasn’t the best year for me. Aside from constantly being given shit for liking Hanson and breaking my tailbone while skiing, I tried out for the school play. This doesn’t sound like a bad thing — hell, I made an attempt at something and tried to broaden my horizons — but sometimes the good stuff just isn’t enough to outweigh the bad. The bad being me.

Remember this?

The play was Aladdin. The part was Jasmine.

Let me tell you something about myself — I’m either slack or Leslie Knope. There’s no in-between. I’m either not gonna do something at all, or I’m gonna go at it so hard that you may very well question my sanity. I went full Knope for the play. I went over my lines constantly. I practiced in front of the mirror to make sure my facial expressions were on point. When audition day rolled around, I knew every single line. I didn’t have much hope of getting the part, since I was a tall, awkward dork and that didn’t really fit the role, but I was ready.

The time came. I had to audition in front of three people. The first part of the audition went fantastic. I totally nailed the lines, and I impressed the teachers since I had already memorized all of the lines for Jasmine.

And then they asked me to sing.

I knew the I Can Show You the World song, of course. I had practiced singing it many times. I would plug my headphones into my keyboard and play the song while singing. Sometimes I’d sing it in the shower (and if you’ve ever sung in the shower, then you know it isn’t really representative of how you really sing).

Three things were missing from that audition: my keyboard, my headphones, and steam. I assumed they would play the music from the CD player, but that didn’t happen either, so it was just my voice.

You hear about people doing difficult and challenging things all the time. Some people run marathons. Others climb mountains. The truly brave people clean their kids’ car seats. Let me tell you, fully singing that song was probably one of the toughest things I have done, because as soon as I sang the first line and heard what I really sounded like without headphones, steam, or super loud music blaring in the background, I realized how awful I was. The look on the judges’ faces confirmed this.

I don’t know why they didn’t stop me. My voice cracked in spots, I sorta talked some lines of the song, and I can’t imagine that anyone could sound more out of tune than I did. Maybe they wanted to spare my feelings or wanted something to laugh about in the teachers’ lounge later. Or, maybe they were just so taken aback by someone sounding so terrible that they were paralyzed and just couldn’t force their mouths to move to tell me to shut up. It was the sort of audition that American Idol probably would’ve aired.

After I wrapped up the song, I waited for feedback. Wanna know what’s worse than someone looking at you with a horrified look on their face? Silence.

Finally, one of the judges thanked me for auditioning, so I gave a double thumbs up and dashed out of the room.

I did not get the part, of course. I did get another part, but that part had zero singing. I gave the acting thing a try again a year later in high school, but that play also required singing, and after getting fussed at for lip syncing, I let that be my last role.

Oh, yeah — to add insult to injury, when I told my grandmother about the audition, she cackled. “I’m not surprised, because you can’t sing worth a lick!”

What’s something you tried to do where you crashed and burned in a spectacular way?

Having trouble with your New Years resolutions already? Then, if you haven’t read my book “Don’t Lick That!” yet, pop over to Amazon and download a copy to read to ring in the New Year. It won’t help you keep your resolutions, but reading about my mishaps will make you feel better about your own life. 

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That Time I Went Skiing

Also known as “That Time I Broke My Ass.”

I’m not known for being coordinated. Anyone who knows me in real life will be thinking, “That’s the understatement of the year,” but that’s basically the truth. I’m not one of those people who can walk from one place to the other without tripping over something. Sometimes it’ll be a something that I didn’t see and other times it’ll be tripping over my own feet. Occasionally this leads to broken bones and scrapes, but mostly it just leads to my being pretty darn embarrassed.

Eighth grade was a lot of fun for middle school, but it wasn’t kind to me as far as my bone health went. Aside from breaking my foot after hopping a fence/rail type thing at Carowinds, there was also the incident that occurred when our grade went on a ski trip.

My grandmother encouraged me to stay home from that trip, by the way. She knew. Obviously that wasn’t happening, since the ski trip was a pretty big deal, so I assured her that I would be fine and went.

Ha.

After we got to the ski lodge, I went through the thing they had set up for beginners and by lunch time, I was ready to go down the intermediate trail. So I went down it a couple of times to build up my confidence.

My confidence built up quickly. Too quickly.

The third time I went down, I decided to go down fast, so down the hill I went in a straight line, like a bullet.

About halfway down, I realized that I was going too fast. I knew that if I didn’t start slowing my ass down, I would going to crash into something or someone at the bottom. So, I turned my skis inward to try to slow down. Except I turned my skis in too much so that they crossed to form an X, and I lost my balance. Not good. I did a front flip, landed hard on my butt, and rolled down the hill.

Ouch.

My body hurt all over, but not as bad as my ego. A classmate helped me up, and I was done for the day. At least I got to enjoy half of the day.

The next day, my butt region was so sore that my grandma wouldn’t let me go to school and took me to the doctor.

After doing an x-ray, the doctor told me that I fractured my tailbone. I was told to take it easy, no softball (and tryouts were the very next week), and that I should sit on a little cushion to stay comfy while it healed up.

After the weekend, I went to school with my cushion. I didn’t think anything about it until a friend snatched it up and exclaimed, “Erika, you got hemorrhoids?!” during homeroom. Heads turned.

I explained to her that no, I did not have hemorrhoids and that I had fractured my tailbone.

About eight years later, I decided to give skiing another try. This is how far I made it:

I totally froze up and wasn’t moving anywhere. My body knew right then that it had no business trying to go skiing, so after much discussion over whether or not we should stay and see if I changed my mind, we ended up asking for a refund. Even though there weren’t supposed to be any refunds, we were given one anyway. I suppose the look of sheer panic on someone’s face will bend the rules a bit.

Have you ever broken your ass? How about any other bones?