A little something from one of the Naked Girls about her experience at “The Might Be Giants”:
BAR HAVOC: BARE NECESSITY
Posted on October 2, 2012 by BAR HAVOC
Public speaking has never really been my thing. I usually love to be the center of attention—I’m extroverted, outgoing, and certainly not shy. So why, when the time comes for all eyes to be on me, do I panic and wish I could melt into the floor? During my best friend’s maid of honor speech my hands were shaking so violently that I could barely read the words. “Poor girl,” I heard someone whisper, and I wanted to die.
I know that public speaking isn’t really the scariest thing in the world. I mean, you could be up there naked. Now that would be really scary. And that’s why I decided to do it.
This past Saturday night I took the stage at the Coolidge Corner Theatre with Naked Girls Reading and I bared it all for our special feature, “Short Writings Read By Tall Ladies.” I kept flashing to the wedding, my shaking hands and thought how trite that seemed now. What if I fell? Naked falling, naked coughing, naked stuttering, all hardly attractive. I had better pull it together.
The night of the show all I wanted was a glass of Jameson. Whiskey is good for the throat: It would calm my nerves and soothe my voice before I read. Then again, I was also going to be walking up to the microphone in five-inch heels. I decided Jameson wasn’t in the cards.
“I guess you can’t picture the audience naked,” one of my friends joked, hardly making me feel better.
When the time came, my name was read aloud and I rose, carelessly tossing my robe to the floor and approaching the microphone. No shaking hands, no Elvis leg. I took a breath and found that I was smiling, and I began to read to the audience of 80. I found that what nerves I did have was from the fact that the stories I was reading were my own, things I had only shared with close friends and my pen and paper.
Now I was standing naked, reading my innermost thoughts to strangers.
It felt amazing, and I found that I was sad when it was over.
A man approached me after the show as I was putting my robe back on. “Wow,” he said, “you would have been naked reading that stuff even if you had clothes on. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. Please keep writing.”
I beamed; I was so happy that someone pointed out my writing when all I probably would have said was, “boobies boobies boobies boobies.”
I walked home alone, my jeans and boots safely back where they belonged and I felt so great.
This was something I had feared for so long, and I couldn’t believe how well it went, how calm I was, and how unafraid I actually was once I just focused at the task at hand, evened my breathing and just swallowed that fear and sheer panic.
It had rained while I was inside the theatre, and the bars had closed. Luckily I knew one that was still closing up—I had one last story to tell, and there was a bottle of Jameson with my name on it.