It was my sax teacher Mel's wedding on Sunday. Do you recall she asked if I would play a solo at her reception? (She'd asked half a dozen of her other students too and told us that we could bottle out on the day if we couldn't face it.)
I was talking to a couple of fellow wedding guests immediately after the ceremony about playing the sax, solo, in public, and how nervous I was, and how it is not something I have yearned to do. I just wanted to play the sax for me. And the woman said "Oh, everyone should have playing in public on their bucket list." I bridled inwardly, thinking, Surely the thing about a bucket list is that it is deeply personal and there are no universal shoulds or shouldn'ts. For the record - I have two remaining items on my bucket list - to go camping with my younger brother, and to do a US road trip with my fabulous daughter-in-law Wendy (she of the margarita episode).
Mel's wedding reception was in the evening and I came home to get changed into fitted black trousers, a black top with a fifties neckline (it was a fifties-themed wedding) and these earrings and this leather bracelet:
Yes, the earrings are HUGE. Not fifties, but funky.
I thought I looked ace, until I saw the photo of me taken at a distance, when all I could see was a grey haired woman (whose hair wasn't doing what it should have been) wearing reading glasses, which were way more prominent than her funky earrings. This is why I am giving you a photo of the jewellery and not of me wearing them. I always think i look better than I actually do - it's like a reverse of the body image problem that anorexics have, but at least it means I get a little confidence boost.
I waited for my turn to play, shaking imperceptibly and with my heart thumping harder than I can remember it doing before. The last three times I'd practised Ain't Misbehavin' at home I had fluffed a bar, the same bar.
I am used to speaking in public and am rarely phased by it. I can always make a self-deprecating joke to get the audience on my side. But playing a solo in public is different. There is no space for jokes.
Well....I played! I smudged the same bar, and I lost the timing for two bars in As Time Goes By, but I picked up just fine and Zoe (who was there for moral support) said that Joe Public didn't clock a damn thing (ref. Acorn Antiques.)
Mel was delighted, which made it all worth it.
But I don't want to do it again.