It’s cold. Here I stand, in the midst of a winter rainstorm, proudly letting the raindrops trickle off my eyelashes. I stare straight ahead blankly, the kind of early morning blank everyone knows and dreads.
Although I’m at the beginning of another performance in front of millions of bleary-eyed early risers, there are very few brave enough to forge their way through the storm to see me skate in a puddle, live. One breath of pure steam exits my pursed lips as the first electronic notes of my music play loud and clear. My hair, for the first time in my life, is gray and teased and curled to the point it looks like a Halloween wig or your aunt’s dearest companion, her poodle. My dress is decidedly understated, all black for maximum skinniness as I blast across people’s TV screens from Philadelphia to Topeka, Des Moines to Orange County. Despite the understated color, I look like a streetwalker in designer leggings that give the illusion of garters. My favorite pop diva’s voice comes blaring over the loudspeakers and I’m off, ice skating for millions.
The performance was flawless. The two inches of rain I struggled to skate through ended up being the ultimate prop as I slid on bended knee through it and it created a wave, much like Moses. I also somehow managed to flash my thong in no less than three moments throughout my two-minute-30-second performance. I was so proud of another successful appearance on the Today Show, performing to Christina Aguilera in a fabulous costume by a young Korean-American designer, Sena Yang, and bringing my own special brand of pizzazz to America.
Nearly ten whole minutes had passed before the first copy of the performance appeared in my Twitter feed and my husband pulled it up so I could watch it. Even a small performance takes weeks of preparation. I had to edit the music to be short enough for NBC’s strict time intervals, I had to work out the costume with my new, larger holiday waistline, I had to train this brand new program on the ice and re-choreograph bits and pieces along the way. All of that prep makes it very exciting to deliver a final result and to actually see the proof that your moment had happened. I thought of all this as I tucked into the YouTube video lovingly posted by one of my fans.
I looked insane. Edward Scissorhands meets Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman meets transvestite chic meets orphaned wet baby kitten. I was very proud of the performance and my overall presentation, it was honest if nothing else. I had achieved everything I wanted from this particular show. I looked good, skated well and spoke intelligently in my interview. Job well done.
At the end of the video however, all I could do was laugh at myself. I had quite a chuckle when my thong flashed America the third time before 9 a.m. I laughed like a toddler when I parted the sea of Rockefeller Center ice rink, with my head in the slide of the decade. I got to thinking about the value of being able to laugh at one’s self.
In life we are constantly tested and forced into performance mode. It could be on a job interview, a third date or even pumping yourself up to go to da club on a Saturday night. When you’re thrown into these situations the wildest statements come flying out of your mouth or you look at an old photo and think, “Why did I think it was cool to look like the World’s largest Q-Tip?” I believe that the strongest people with the most success coming to them are the ones who can laugh at all the silly blunders or foot in mouth moments.
Life can be embarrassing, even when you’ve prepared for one moment for years and in that moment your pants split or like Vivian in “Pretty Woman,” the escargot goes flying out of the cracking device into the palm of a nearby waiter.
Laughter makes the world brighter. Never be afraid to start by laughing at yourself and owning every little flaw or silly moment that makes you, you.