Thor's Korea Diary
The Monk's Magic Moment - Stage Blind
@21 April 2002
There's a jazz club in Busan where expats hang out from time to time in a scene they call Poetry Plus ....
You wanna' be famous, do an act? You a muso', a poet ? Nah. Well, demagogue, rap dancer, stiff, office clerk on speed, what's the difference ? Have your magic moment, strut your smile. Hell, you never know, something might happen, like you might get on TV, or you might get a midnight phone call, or well, something special anyway ...
But first you've gotta' DO it. Get up there. Be 'sussed out. Yeah, that's the hard bit.
You've all heard about stage fright - that desperate, striking dumb, knee jellifying moment when the old, familiar illusion of being in control deserts you; when you are suddenly a blubber mouthed, blank minded imbecile about to lose your self respect forever.... Yeah, you all know about that. Most of you have been there, even if it was only a job interview for window cleaning at Wal-Mart.
But how come nobody ever talks about the big one? You've never been struck stage blind ?
You are up there in a furnace of stage lighting, just you and the microphone, and you look out on .... an ocean of blackness. Just a moment ago as you mounted the stage back steps you threw a last nervous glance at the zillion waiting faces. But now, nothing. Not a goddamned thing. Silence. Is it respect? Are they waiting for you to fall off your tree ? Have you passed into a parallel dimension, hidden behind a veil of anti matter? That must be it.
Make eye contact, bring them into your confidence, catch their vibes ... frantically you assemble all the old rules. But you can't see a damned thing. The stage lights have trapped and blinded your seeing eyes. Your are a rabbit on the midnight expressway, caught in the death beam of a thirty ton semi-trailer rig ... What's to be done?
There's only fantasy left. Do it my way honey. This is like making love in the dark. Come to think of it, that's probably the only safe way to make love. The sole bit of worldly advice my mother ever gave me was that all cats are grey in the dark.
All right you cats; big cats, small cats, grey cats and tabbies, tom cats and persian pussies. I'm gonna' love you, right. Wrong. You're gonna' love me. Me? I'm gonna' lie, because I don't know if you're hot, cold or just wanking.
Hey, there could be power in this game. I'm just going to stand here being Master of the Universe, and there's not the flicker of an eyelid, not the curl of a lipsticked lip, to tell me anything different. Truth is, if I get to believe this garbage, you'll probably believe it too.
See, I despise you already
* Note on personal names: all
names in this Diary have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals,
unless stated otherwise. ** Actual names have been used in "The Bright Smile Love Club".