Surviving the Stage

Bucket List Blog- Matt Olson

I’ve recently completed one of my first check marks on my bucket list! I was able to participate in a Cat Cab (technically it was the open mic). My goal was only get on stage, not be the headliner, which never would’ve happened. I’m a terrible, atrocious singer who can’t hold a beat and has trouble following a rhythm. I also have zero experience playing an instrument, which makes me think I’m embarrassingly ill-talented (likely true).

Nevertheless, I went up to support a friend of mine who was singing (a lovely Junior lady named Kate) as she sang a Colbie Caillat song. My main plan was to stand there awkwardly and dance, which turned out to be more challenging than expected. See, I’m not used to being on the spot. I don’t even enjoy talking out loud in class, so imagine my mind when put in front of a bunch of people who I actually respect (not saying I don’t respect my classmates, as there are a few I do). I was freaking out.

I mean, have you ever actually been at a Cat Cab? It’s dark and crowded and you can’t see anyone onstage beyond the first row. You’re stuck beneath a number of bright colorful lights that the techs randomly placed on the stage (it’s true; I’m an A/V tech myself). It’s nerve wracking. I pretty much just froze and stood there for the whole song. I don’t remember a lick of what Kate sang (although I saw it all on video later) and I’m not real sure what I did. Something about snapping and swaying. I’m thinking my life will not be governed by big speeches or stage work. There’s a reason public speaking is the number one fear in America (death is number two, people are ridiculous).

But my night ended (finally) and I completed my goal. I got myself in the spotlight (or as close as I could, really) without embarrassing myself. I survived. And that, I think, is the goal of this bucket list. Sometimes thrive, sometimes survive, and always try something new. I did that and while I’ll never do it again, I’m glad I did. I’d call it win and I’m marking off it off the list. Whoo!

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