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A Memorable Performance

Life Story Club Contributor

Mar 2, 2020

Well the first thing I want to say is when I was 12 or something cause I was still in junior high school and we all had to recite something. But I loved the Carole King song, ‘Tapestry’. It’s a very long song: “My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue.” It’s a very long elaborate song with a lot of words. And every time I practiced it, there was one line that said: “I sat down on a river rock,” but for some reason that’s when I lost the saliva in my mouth. So I would always practice it and say I sat down a riv-rock and I said, “God, help me when I get on that stage, that some saliva comes to me.” I get on the stage, do the whole thing, everything’s going fine.

And then I said, ‘I sat down a riv-rock’, and everything else was the flowing and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. And everything was so nice. And then riv-rock. So that was one thing, I couldn’t help it. That’s where it started, where the saliva left and that’s where everything that was flowing very nicely sounded like riv-rock, it sounded probably like a frog, riv-rock. Anyway, God bless the mistakes.

And the second thing is I was sitting around with my friends, I don’t know, it must have been somebody’s birthday. I was in my twenties, we were at my friend Nancy’s house. In East Patchogue, New York, which is Long Island cause I went to Stony Brook and I used to live with Nancy, as roommates in her grandfather’s house, but I lived there on Daring Street and then I went to school. But she’s still living there. Anyway, so we were in our twenties, a bunch of us were there and at the time there was this nonprofit organization called ‘The Lesbian and Gay Switchboard of Long Island.’ And that’s what it was. And it’s so necessary because statistically the majority of people, young people who commit suicide, are lesbian, gay, bi, transgendered, either get kicked out of their homes or they don’t fit somewhere.

So it’s even now with all the assumedly understanding in the world. But then, this was 40 years ago, it was very necessary. So they decided to do a benefit to raise money. So my friend just says to me, “Will you do some comedy?” Cause I always made jokes. So I said, “You know what? I will.” But I was terrified. I’ve never been on a stage doing comedy, but I wrote this monologue and it was like reflective. It was like a farce, a kind of farce of different things that went on in my lifetime.

Okay. So long story short, I’m going, “How do I do this monologue?” and what I’m doing is kind of a little bit of a farce on different aspects of my life. Right? So the whole monologue was kind of tied into my young life, my older life. So it was about this… It was all over the place, but it was about this guy. One thing it was about, it was about this guy who was trying to find enlightenment, and everybody else was going to gurus, trying to find enlightenment, and he came to his Nevana realization. He was a pizza maker and what he did is he threw the pizza up, the dough up in the air and it spun around and then he let it come down and one time when he was throwing the dough up in the air he looked up like this and that looked exactly like the look of Gurumayi, who was my friend’s guru. She had a picture of Gurumayi like this.

So I thought, let him find enlightenment and when he went away, he does this thing, he throws it up and he goes like this. He realized exactly what he needed to do in life with that pose.

So, that was one thing. And the other thing I made jokes about–terrible, ridiculous jokes about–was the time in the lesbian feminist movement when every group comes into their own. Black separatism, lesbian, whatever the separatism is, you just get into this thing. So we were into health foods and all that, and I did this whole monologue, this crazy monologue. This woman sends me and gets on the bus. She gets in the back of the bus, but she forgot to wash herself up.

So she had cabbage leaves. She used the cabbage leaves, it was ridiculous. And all of a sudden one woman in the audience laughed so hard, she started to almost cry. I think she cried, or almost started to cry and I said, “I did it.” People were laughing, but this woman was… that was it. It was something about cleaning something with the something on the bus. I don’t know, what the hell. She’s cleaning herself with cabbage leaves and stuff like that. It was like going on a date or something, I don’t know. It was really crazy. But anyway, so that was another experience I had, it was doing that monologue, and I mean it was great. It was great to hear somebody laugh that hard that they were almost going to cry.

And then I knew that people were relating to it. It was going over well, and just for your information, it had to be over… It was 26 years ago, and you know how I know that? Yeah, just 26 years ago because my brother and his ex wife were there and that they came all the way there for me. And I guess they stayed over in a hotel or something. And that’s when Benjamin, my nephew was conceived, that weekend. So I guess the comedy really, really works. And he’s great. He’s a great kid. He’s 26 and he’s a character, so it works.

Mar 2, 2020

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