How not to make mistakes
Vol 11 on stage
I bet there are plenty of folks who have been volunteered by some maestro/magician/comedian etc. to join them up on stage but I wonder, of those, how many were daft enough to actually volunteer themself?
Picture this. – Ffordd Penrhwylfa Caravan Holiday Park - winner of WALES IN BLOOM! 1969, Lighthouse Cabaret bar, Rhyl around half nine at night and my parents have consumed enough alcohol to have loosed their grip on my activities. The compere, an our Albert from Steptoe lookalike,, and presumably having outsung his song sheet or possibly covering for an as yet absent act, was practically pleading for a volunteer to sing on stage. Resist I could not.
“Ah, what’s your name, lovey,” said Albert, bending to stick the mic in my face, “WENDY!” I inadvertently boomed.
“Aw, and what are you going to sing for us tonight Wendy?”
“I’m not singin’, I’m doin’ the can can.”
Albert spluttered, wild-eyed taking in the dining table sized stage already housing my shocked backing trio. After a panicked conflab, the mustachiod guitarist, equally hairy keyboard and deadpan drummer began a tune of sorts, though it was unequivocally unrelated to anything resembling the can can. I began my routine nonetheless, clad in floral bellbottoms, sailor top, pony tail and glasses, the very epitome of Parisienne va va voom. Given the circumstances, twirling and thrusting with gusto, some random kicks and the loss of a jesus sandal in a perfect arc en route to mustachio, it was going reasonably well until it became clear that my band, having no idea of the tune, were unable to spy an ending to it and stop bloody playing. And so on and on and on interminably I danced, sweating, eyes bulging, chest heaving, legs like elastic and tachycardic.
I should have sung Lily the pink.
It would be three years before I began ballet lessons proper with Miss Ruby Clarke.
It would be three years more before Miss Ruby Clarke would refer to me as Wendy Wobbleyou and my dancing career would be almost over.