I’m not exactly what I would personally describe as “shy” but I am pretty anxious, awkward, all that and yes, you know this by now, I’ve covered it. Don’t worry, that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. What I do want to talk about, though, is how much I love watching and experiencing what being on a stage brings out of a person.
I can imagine that the idea of being on stage, in front of a crowd, is completely paralyzing to some, and that’s perfectly understandable and valid. But, to others, simply by stepping foot on stage, you’re able to meet an entirely new and different person that you didn’t know existed.
Comedy in all of its forms will tell you a lot about someone. Comedy can be rather therapeutic. Let’s be honest, if I’ve been mad at you in a scene for being lazy, dirty, unmotivated, or anything of that sort, it was likely genuine anger inspired by an ex-boyfriend. Comedy can allow a person to come out of her shell, show an audience who she knows she's capable of being, but were maybe too afraid to show to others. If you pay close attention, there’s a good chance that you’ll get a glimpse into a person’s very real life through comedy. Under those lights, it’s your opportunity to show the world what you can do. I don’t say that to add any pressure, I say that to only reinforce what a glorious moment being on stage really is.
Aside from improv or stand-up, though, I think that maybe one of the most telling forms of the performing arts is most certainly karaoke. Why? It’s everyone’s chance to prove that they’re actually a rock star. No longer are you a teacher, a copywriter, a photographer, a social media manager, a historic arms and armor dealer (I’m naming actual careers of my actual, very diverse friends), you’re now Katy Perry, Patsy Cline, or maybe even Lionel Richie, whether you sound anything like them or not.
At the most recent Bearded Brothers Karaoke, I made sure to take the stage with others. I did this, not only because it’s sometimes more fun, but because, for whatever reason, in my head, which has a tendency to blow things out of proportion, doing karaoke at Dallas Comedy House (DCH), in front of the many talents I witness on a weekly basis, was just too much to tackle all on my own. It was a night of memorable performances, though, and what actually inspired this blog post. That night, I believe we all met the real DCH student Shawn Meyer through his most epic, “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
For the purposes of full disclosure, you should know that if I am performing alone, I’m THAT person about karaoke. I may as well be Dave and Kath from Portlandia, taking voice lessons to perfect their rendition of “You Can Call Me Al.” I pick songs based on whether or not I know I can nail them. I take having a microphone in my hand way too seriously.
And, then there’s a thing called Punk Rock Karaoke. You pick a song, you sing that song, they’re your actual backing band. There aren’t monitors with the words, nothing to indicate when you’re to come in, just a real band and its support. There are two very different versions of Punk Rock Karaoke but the one I have performed with, in my eyes, is the only one that matters. They’re a touring act featuring members of many of my eighth-grade favorites (OK, maybe, I still listen to most of them), including Eric Melvin of NOFX. The chance I had to be on stage with him was the only time I’ve ever taken a karaoke risk like, signing up for a song that I really didn’t know that well. You better believe, though, that I wasn’t letting this performance opportunity go to waste.
I would become Brody Dalle (you can take a break here and head on over to Google) but not without the help of a bartender and listening to the song multiple times, alone in the bathroom of Prophet Bar to make sure I could handle the task.
I’m happy to say that it went pretty well but was ultimately fun and gave me what is, without a doubt, one of my favorite memories of the more recent past. The, at times quiet, reserved, sometimes bumbling, and often meek Megan Radke, became the no-nonsense, intimidating, rough around the edges queen from The Distillers.
Very, very long story short, harness the power of the stage and show the world (or at least the room) what a powerful presence you really are!
Megan Radke is currently a Level 4 student at DCH. She is a copywriter and social media manager by day and an essayist and mediocre musician by night. She is a constant consumer of books, music, film, and all things comedy. She is also great at racking up copious amounts of credit card debt with spur-of-the-moment travel.