It wasn’t the big stage, but it was a stage.
Prompted by a dare/bet, I entered a local talent contest last month and, quite frankly, had a blast. It was a singing competition, and although I am no Waylon Jennings, I can put out a pretty decent version of Luckenbach, Texas.
It was all fun and games until it came time to go on, and then things got serious. Before I knew it, the music started playing, I walked onstage and up to the microphone, and there I was.
As I looked at the crowd, I found myself fading into a flashback of a karaoke bar in Yokosuka, singing to my wife and friends and a couple of locals waiting for their turn at the microphone.
There I was again, on the flight deck of USS COOK (FF1083 and now part of the proud Taiwanese fleet) singing with all my might to avoid being hit by a Shillelagh during the crossing-the-line ceremony.
And there I was, singing to the crowd at La Posada dining hall in New Mexico in my first and only experience as a lead singer in a real band.
When I finished, I snapped back to reality. There was a moment of hushed silence, then the audience erupted. I looked over to three people who looked to be the judges – they were all smiling – and waited for their judgement.
They consulted for a minute, then one of them said, “The talent show isn’t until April.”
The band was pretty upset too.