I was doing a showcase today. One of those 10 minute performances where people and come and get a taste for what you do to see if it fits in their programming.There was a school of about 150 2nd graders taking up the first 8 to 10 rows closest to the stage. The rest of the audience were mostly adults. I made sure to check the children’s temperatures by listening and watching how they interacted with the performers before me.

Since I was the closing act of the showcase, I figured I would do something a little special for the children. The announcer began introducing me and, just as I began to step from the wings of the stage, the entire section of 150 2nd graders stood up on the command of their teacher and begin exiting the auditorium.

I had 10 minutes to do my thing and this kinda threw me for a little loop. I regrouped, tried to ignore the grand exit and jumped right into my harp playing and singing. Fortunately for me, the exit was rather quick but they left a big hole in the audience.

I have had elders and mentors over the years tell me that you ignore this type of situations and keep on moving with your performance. I kept on going. As I was getting into the rhythm of my performance, a young girl of about 4 to 6 years old slowly descended from the seats in the upper area of the auditorium. She was all alone. I imagine her parents brought her. She came and sat right there at the edge of the stage as I was singing. I focused my attention on her and she was more than delighted to receive it. I went into a tale, just for her.

We had a really good time as she helped my in building the tale. When I finished my 10 minute slot I made sure to thank her for her inspiration.

I could choose to focus my thoughts and energies on the large group of children that were escorted out or I could choose to view the gift of the young girl’s presence at the edge of the stage.

Which would you choose.

Dooni, dooni kononi be nyaga da

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