My father says...
mom wouldn't look at me because I was an ugly baby. And that's most likely the main reason I became a performer.. I just wanted someone looking at me. It's fascinating how far I will go just to catch someone's eye and be noticed. Once I put some underwear on my head and performed as a circus clown in my living room. I'd describe the style as minimalist-- using only what's required-- and modern in the sense of being stylish in my own stylish sense of style. Sometimes underwear and idiotic behavior is all that's required to do the trick.
I was also born very sensitive and that's why my behavior is equally unusual. At night, I used to sleep with socks on my hands and underwear on my head to keep my ears warm. It gets damn cold at night apparently! Eventually I grew out of that and got thicker skin to get through those nights. But now I realize how truthful that clown was in expressing real problems in a seemingly funny way.
When I turned five years old, my career path took a turn and I started taking piano lessons. Comedy found its way back in sneaky, unexpected ways. I discovered a hidden talent through improvising over my mistakes. And that was usually a a combination of strange facial expressions, vocals at times, and it turned out to be pretty funny most of the time.. for the audience anyways.
My brothers and I entered a talent show which was hosted by my first piano teacher. We performed a gymnastics routine to "All Star" by Smash Mouth and after the rehearsal run, my teacher pulled us aside saying we offended several of the audience members. She asked that we change our routine.
Thinking back to the rehearsal performance, the moments I call recall most vividly are: when Josh was launching through the air in a front flip, when Andy grabbed the back of Josh's shirt to spot him, and when Josh's shorts instantly flew down to the ground leaving him de-pantsed before the audience. He improvised on the spot, looking towards the audience and leaving everyone in suspense to what would come next. A twist of dramatic tragedy-- and he let out a distressed cry: 'Andy.' It was betrayal captured at its most raw state. And people didn't know how to react-- some were gasping, others were laughing, but most of them were just quiet and waited to see if a recovery and resolution would follow. At that point, I just went into shock and I don't remember much after the de-robing, but I'm pretty sure the show went on and finished it with dignity. However, the reviews weren't good.
What's surprising is that we weren't asked to leave the show since it was basically a partial nude exhibition. Instead, they had a problem with the music we played. They wanted march and we played rock. So we refused to change it and we said 'if we can't rock, then we're rollin'. And we rolled out alright, straight home in our mini van. At least we made mom and dad proud.
When I moved to New York, I wrote one of my first really bad songs which was based on highway signs I saw along the way. There was one performance and the song never left the vehicle, but it taught a good lesson for what to look out for in NY. Parking and drug trafficking. . not allowed. And that's what I remembered from the musical little ditty on my way to New York.
Don't park and lose your chance. And if you're gonna do something risky, better make your move fast cause if you don't someone else will.
The Mouse Show
Stacey is a musician/artist based in New York City.