Teacher’s Day. My first ever performance. I paced nervously up and down, waiting for it to begin. I heard the emcee announcing, “Now, some students from 6H will be performing a song they composed, ‘Thank you, Teachers’.” I took my place behind the drum set, trying to control my churning stomach. As the curtains were drawn open, the audience erupted into a thunderous applause. I gripped the drumsticks in my sweaty hands.
I looked at the audience, my outward confidence belying the butterflies in my stomach. The lights dimmed, and a bright spotlight shone on the lead singer, Sally. She gave a short introduction of the song, then puffed up her chest, drew back her shoulders and began singing, her melodious voice reverberating through the hall. As I started hitting the drums, my anxiety ebbed away. The audience, the singers, the other instrumentalists… everyone faded away. I was there, alone in the hall.
I closed my eyes and played, not once missing a beat, not once making a mistake. I could hear singing and music, but they seemed distant. I felt like a dog in its kennel, playing the drums, not caring about the fact that it was my first performance, that I was up on stage.
After a while, however, something felt… different. Wrong. One sound was missing whenever I used my left drum stick to hit the drums. My eyes shot open, just in time to see it sailing through the air, straight for Sally! It must have slipped out from my sweaty palm! Before I had time to react….Tuk! It had missed Sally’s head by a centimetre and hit her microphone instead. This gave her such a fright that her voice turned to a screech, which was picked up by her microphone, echoing through the entire hall. The guitarist next to her instinctively cupped his ears with his hands, dropping his guitar with a loud thud.
All the students and teachers let out a collective gasp. They turned to each other and began muttering among themselves.
“Was that planned?”
The coordinators hurriedly drew the curtains, clearly disappointed that the performance had not gone smoothly. Everyone turned to look at me.
I felt my face redden and become hot. “S-sorry, guys….my palms were sweaty….” Sally opened her mouth to say something but was interrupted by muffled laughter coming from the audience. The laughter got louder and louder, deafening almost. Apparently, they found it amusing. The curtains drew open once more. “Due to the… um… hiccup, we will restart the song,” Sally announced, embarrassed ever so slightly. The crowd cheered even louder than before clapping.
This time, I made an effort to hold my drumsticks even more firmly. The song went smoothly, and the audience gave us a standing ovation. The beaming faces and mobile phones pointed at the stage seemed to suggest that the audience had quite enjoyed the hiccup.
To this day, I still remember that incident clearly: the flying drumstick, the shriek, the guitar being dropped. It replays itself over and over in my mind: a truly unforgettable celebration, not just because it was my first performance, but because of that, admittedly, hilarious accident.
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