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Imagine Everyone In the Audience Is Naked

September 11, 2009

The above was the advice was given the first time was asked to public speak at school or work. I tried it, I really did and the outcome of an overactive imagination was a disaster, it worked all too well . I found myself staring in shock at my stunning English teacher Mrs Dewer, whom I’d often wondered whether those freckles were everywhere : they were. She looked like whichever one of Dempsey and Makepeace was the girl; her eyebrows were arched like Rambo’s bow and naughty smiling eyes that made you think she knew what you were thinking wasn’t wholesome and had nothing to do with the Animal Farm she was talking about. I scanned my class just checking everyone out. There were Tank and Bluer ,the female equivalent of Laurel and Hardy, whose bodies we so repulsive, they acted as a sharp shock like a slap across the face leaving me red. My eyes were watering from the painful jolt back to reality and most in the room thought I was actually crying. This only took a few seconds and it’s what radio and tv people call dead air. It seemed to last for years. I’d forgotten what I was supposed to say and just stood still. Staring. I choked. By the time I’d turned off my naked filter, it was too late, I’d been standing there experiencing dead air and made no sign of saving myself. So someone else spoke in my place. I started doing school plays and recall actually being quite good – this is clearly my own thought , I have no evidence. I didn’t really stop me from being extremely nervous.

The thing that stopped stage fright forever for me was my first job. I was a trainee fitness instructor at 17 and as a part of my job I had to teach exercise classes. My only excuse for this line of work was the eighties and everyone was either jogging; trying to look like an extra in the film Fame; or wore braces with high-waist trousers and told us all greed was good. The BBC had the classy Diana Moran all dressed in green doing aerobics too , other channels had a girl dubbed Mad Lizzie making my chosen profession look like a few people turning up a month after Woodstock and dancing on their own. I spent the late part of the eighties, looking like a cheap superhero wearing lycra costumes, dayglo socks and ultra white training shoes.

If you can stand in front of 30 women wearing nothing but brightly coloured tight cycle shorts and make them all run left, right, stand and sit to your command, you start feeling like a demi god and grow in confidence or die. Presently, I can’t get a single woman to do what I’d like at work or otherwise. I didn’t realise at the time that I was doing amateur aerobic alchemy. The side effects of those gym soaked days are some horrendous photos and that I can forget all about using my imagination to make them all look naked. There’s no need. I’m cured.

One Comment leave one →
  1. neil404 permalink
    September 17, 2009 10:32 am

    Thinking of renaming the site to essay.the404.co.uk … 😉

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