All the world's a stage
So, it’s been a while since my last piece. Rather than writing something fresh, I want to share something from what I wrote during my engineering days. I had taken a course at that time called Introduction to Creative Writing ENG 201. I was never much of a writer before that and this course and my professor back then really pushed me to write. And, this is what I came out with as my first 750 word piece.
Wear a nice leather jacket, a black one preferably and don’t forget those Ray-Ban aviators which your ex-girlfriend gifted you on your 19th birthday, it’s the brand for rockers. Don’t tie your hair, let it loose, helps you with the head banging. All this is just the get up, you need to feel like a rocker too. But, honestly none of this matters. The people out there don’t really give a shit about how you look, they care only about what they hear: your music.
The green room tends to shake up your confidence, so, smoke up, that will calm you down. It’s usually the drummer who goes backstage first. Believe it or not, he is the most enthusiastic person in every band. Stay behind the bassist, he is the classy one. The lead guitar will want to make his presence felt, even backstage. He will complain about the set, the stage lighting and all. That’s the thing with lead guitarists — the attention seekers. Why to get into the nitty-gritty of all this; just ignore it. You are a band to perform in harmony.
The countdown has begun and you all wait for your performance. Suddenly, you feel your throat has gone bad. It’s nothing really, it’s just the weed fucking with your mind. Feel the high, but beware, it may spoil the show. So, just drink a cup of your favourite hot coco, just like your mother used to give you during your childhood days when you were scared. There’s nothing to feel ashamed about, everyone has a small kid in them.
You’ll be on stage anytime now. Even the lead guitarist doesn’t seem much of a problem. It’s the audience, thousands of people staring right at you, with expectant eyes. You can feel the adrenaline rush and hear your heart pounding as loud as a drum. You really start to worry now, after all, it’s finale of the country’s biggest talent show and this is the opportunity to make or break a great performance. You’ll have hundreds of questions playing havoc in your mind, about your hair, your jacket, your looks, and so on. Just focus, you are a rocker! Not a model walking the ramp. Take that nervous energy and turn it into a powerful performance tool. Just sing, it’s your crowd, it’s all about giving and receiving love.
The chorus of your main track has just gone by, the audience is getting into the groove. And, then there’s your lead guitarist who tries to make the moment his by playing a smooth and wicked solo and the crowd goes wild! He stares at you, as if trying to establish superiority. You are no less, impress the audience with your rich baritone. This war only makes the performance better. Your next rendition; the finale, makes the crowd go wild and you feel completely in control of the evening with the flow of energy to either side. You let your voice do exactly what you want it to do, hitting all the highs and lows.
Having spent hours rehearsing and having finally delivered your performance, the applause from the audience sends pure electric excitement through your veins, because you and your band have been able to set the stage on fire and move the audience. Waiting with bated breath, as you are announced as the winners, you and your band get a standing ovation. You have mixed emotions, happy that the performance went well, sad because it is the end of a good show. It’s an amazing feeling nonetheless.
Nothing has changed much, the battle between you and your lead guitarist goes on after the performance as well. From taunts to verbal abuses to a fight, you both don’t seem to stop. But remember you are famous now. So, part ways when the fight’s over, it is the best for you. There are a lot of lead guitarists in the world, some or the other guy will come trotting up to you smiling, with a desire to join you. Show who is the real boss is then.
There are so many variables that can affect your performance- soundman, coordination of the band, the mood of the audience — in reality, you just have to keep your cool and do what is necessary.
That was a quite a journey from where you started as a rocker. The Ray-Ban aviators were surely a match then. But, the next time you go on stage, wear a brown leather jacket. That’s the colour for rockstars.
And that was my first piece. I really enjoyed writing back then as I could relate to many emotions being a part of the varsity band. I relived all of them as I read them once again. My friends and I have come a long way since our band days and still talk about the great times we had. Until next, cheers!