A moment of silence
Comes before the roar
It was December 2001 around one forty five in the afternoon.
It was a Friday.
We were just over half way through the performance of Pinocchio.
It was the afternoon.
It was the end of the week.
It was close to Christmas.
The three hundred and fifty fourth fifth and sixth graders?
They were fed candy for lunch, fed up from the week and ready to fly away on Friday.
More excitable - like surfing a big wave of anxious anticipation and sugar high while basking in the buzz of being alive.
It was a good room. The show was flying along just beautifully. We had just been spit out of the belly of the whale? My character? Felix - he was some add on mute cat. I mostly mugged and posed and played with the audience. Essentially I was one gigantic attention stealing attraction machine.
It was fun.
So - back to the show.
We had been spit out of the belly of the whale. It was me, Pinocchio, Gepetto and the Cricket. We would be spit out, things would happen with the scenery and the lights. We’d wake up then the fairy god mother would come in and scold us majestically.
The audience was impressed by the theatrical effects.
We could tell they were impressed because they shut up.
All of them.
Their greasy little candy filled mouth-machines hit a glitch or a pause button or mute or whatever.
They had finally.
For just a moment.
My blocking? I always ended up on my back, with my feet in the air and my arse facing the audience. I would be the first to wake up and would pop up suddenly.
I was doing some weird diet thing.
My digestive tract was not a fan of the weird diet thing.
I was on a stage that was constructed like a drum. It amplified every vibration.
I popped up with an especially generous amount of vigour.
I let rip the most glorious, most beautiful, most show-stopping loud loud loud loud assed fart.
It was the fart to end all farts.
I farted the perfect fart.
In front of three hundred and fifty children.
Should I comment on the sound?
Would you like it, dear reader, if I would even attempt to describe the majesty of the best fart.
Rolling distant thunder?
A train derailing?
Machine gun fire?
It was like
The sound you would imagine
The moon would make
If it were a living thing
That somehow died.
Or the croak a bullfrog would make
If it were the size of an elephant.
Have you ever had a perfect moment?
You know those times - when everything is suspended
This was my perfect moment.
This was my crowning glory as a performer.
This was my Everest.
Everything was silent as what happened registered with the entire audience.
The first giggles came in a trickle. The trickle was almost imperceptibly followed by the biggest and most beautiful eruption of laughter I have ever experienced.
The play stopped.
Everybody corpsed (started laughing on stage)
Geppetto was lying on his belly. This belly was large. His laughing while lying there on his belly made him look like a fish flopping in the bottom of an aluminium boat in the springtime.
The cricket couldn’t speak. Tears were running down Pinocchio’s face. When the fairy god mother came in she had tears running down her face as well.
We had all laughed so much we cried.
That’s when laughter is at its best. Laugh till you cry. Cry till you laugh.
Same muscles. Same nervous system parts. Same impact on the breathing, guts, heart, mind, soul. Totally cathartic.
For all of us.
Did I make a mistake?
Did I derail the performance?
Did that make a difference?
It sure did. In all the best ways.
One Derful Thing
When you move today, consider moving in a way that feels like you’re carving you way into a room.
And when you speak to people today, consider speaking to people in a way that feels like you carving with your words.
What’s that like for you?
What comes up?
Let me know.