“What is on your bucket list?” So asks my husband as he nears retirement, and makes plans for what he’ll be doing, presumably with me. And, either because I lack imagination or a sense of adventure, or because I’ve already done whatever I’ve dreamed of doing, I come up blank. John will say, “Go to the Holy Land” or “Attend a spanish immersion program in a Latin American country,” and I think, “Yah, OK, I’ll do that with you”, but if we didn’t do it, I’d be fine too.
One thing I can definitely say has not been on my bucket list is to perform in front of a large crowd. Or a small crowd, for that matter. I don’t mind speaking. It’s the performing aspect like singing or dancing solo, with all eyes fixed on me, that I find terrifying. I sweat just thinking about it.
All that will change in a few days. I will be performing. In front of a crowd. As Taylor Swift, no less.
This came about because my friend, Randy, is having a party. He and I dance at my weekly Soul Line Dance class. Two things you should know about Randy: First, he loves to perform in front of others. Second, he is relentless.
Yes, Randy is having a party this weekend. It will include lots of dancing, and, for some reason, he has decided he wants some performances too. People will sing or lip-sync on stage. In front of the crowd. This is not some karaoke-type thing. The performers must be prepared ahead of time.
Randy immediately assumed that I would be part of the line-up. He is that kind of person; he assumes that because he likes it, everyone must like it. I demurred. No, I am so not performing. He says, “It’s not actual singing Marty, it’s lip-syncing.” As if that makes it that much more comfortable.
Randy did not so much ask as tell. The only thing he asked was “What song will you be performing?” Week after week this prodding and questioning continued. Like my children when they were young and worked me for months (years) about getting a cat, he wore me down. I now have a cat (which I love), and I am now going to be performing.
So, who will I be? Taylor Swift, of course. I love her. And I couldn’t think of anyone else. John suggested Barbra Streisand, I assume because of her age (!), but honestly who can belt out “Don’t Rain on My Parade”, like Barbra, even if it is just lip-syncing?
I’ve bought the blonde wig and red lipstick. I know it will be a S-T-R-E-T-C-H to imagine this 61-year-old woman performing as the stunningly beautiful, 28-year-old Taylor. There’s a lot going on here that defies belief.
The song I will be performing is “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. Not too difficult, right? You would not believe how many words are in this song! And how quickly she sings them!
I tell Randy I am terrified. He says, and this is typical Randy, “Free yourself! Have fun! Share the love!” Whatever. Randy also tells me to practice constantly, so it will come naturally. I tell you, I even feel embarrassed singing this song at home alone with only the dog and cat glancing up at me from their cozy slumber.
But I’m going to do it. Because I love my friend Randy. And I couldn’t say no.
And maybe afterwards I can say that lip-syncing a Taylor Swift song in front of an audience was always on my bucket list anyway.
Check that one off.
Stay tuned for Part Two.