I was the only child brave enough to 'learn' to cartwheel, and therefore I was cast as the lead, Peter Rabbit, for the Annual Chinese New Year School Play (yes, it was the year of the rabbit). A dance routine, no speaking, but I would have the whole stage to myself! I was excited! I was nervous! And I only had 2 weeks. I practiced everyday at the back of the classroom; my second grade teacher, Ms. Chin, as my Bela Karolyi. Read more [+/-]
The routine was simple enough, with the cartwheel right in the middle.
The day of the performance arrived and I was introduced to my pink bunny outfit complete with button nose and cotton tail, whiskers glued above my lips as the final touch. With pink furry gloves over my hands I was worried that it would affect my cartwheel. Ms. Chin, observing my demeanor, gave me a pep talk and ushered me stage right, behind the curtains.
The lights dimmed. I gulped. Spotlight turned on with a *shunt*. I froze. The music started. A shiver went up my spine. My cue was coming. If my mind weren't totally blank, I might have realized that I was shaking.
"NOW!" I screamed in my head on cue and threw my body out from behind the curtain and started my hopping routine. The spotlight was blinding and I couldn't see the audience, only hearing their cheers and applause overpowering the music. It was euphoric.
I was approaching the trickiest part of my routine, the cartwheel. In practice my success rate was a only 40%, without gloves. I'm going to stick it. Hop, bounce, left, right, cartwheel!
I'm half way! Stick the landing! Wait.. wait.. no!
The adrenaline coursing through my veins had made me rush, undershooting the landing. As a natural reaction, I bent my legs, and with a *thump*, landed on my ass. Luckily, Ms. Chin had prepped me to continue the routine even if I fell; so with laughter in the background, I finished my routine, hopping off stage left, shaking my cotton tail.
I felt bad for falling (and losing my whiskers), but elated that I had the courage to perform in front of the whole school; as the star!
It must have been a memorable performance, because the during the beginning of my freshman year in high school, I ran into an elementary school classmate. She stared at me for a second across the hall before running up to me.
"Hey! I know you! You're Peter Rabbit!"
Blushing at my newfound fame, I replied, "Second grade? Yea."
"Yea! You were so cute as a pink bunny with whiskers stuck to your butt!"