Sometimes the spectacular is cloaked in normalcy. For instance, every girl I’ve ever dated was the cutest and most adorable in the times when she wasn’t trying to be. There’s something about someone just being that is fun to watch. Endearing even. Which is why reality TV works in theory but fails horribly in practice. If it was anywhere near real they wouldn’t need all the dramatic music and talking head pieces to explain what we just saw. Reality TV is a code for bad acting. But I digress.
Our love of pure voyeurism is why great actors get the big bucks. Watching Meryl Streep “pretend” is more real than all the reality in every reality show ever made. But great moments can be spied even when you’re not at the cinema.
A few days ago I drove past a girl riding a unicycle. Now that’s impressive in an of itself but she was also on the phone, clearly stressed out and carrying those sticks that street performers light with fire and juggle. I hope I’m painting the picture for you. If I was on a unicycle, or roller skates or a skateboard even, trust that all my mental faculties would be focused on not falling. For this girl, the most difficult thing she was doing, was the thing she was taking for granted. I doubt I could walk and talk with the grace she exhibited on that unicycle. And the great thing is that she wasn’t trying to impress anyone. She was just trying to get somewhere. Maybe she was late. Or maybe her agent didn’t give her all the details on the gig. Or maybe her boyfriend messed up.
Imagine being stressed out. Now imagine being stressed out on a balance beam. See, suddenly you’re forced to put your stress aside for a few minutes and concentrate on keeping your teeth.
I don’t doubt that her show is stellar but I’d rather see her pre-show and post-show rituals. I’m sure a unicycle riding juggler puts her pants on one leg at a time like everybody else. Then again, does she?? What does cooking breakfast look like for her? It’s like everything she does might be it’s own little show.
I can tell you for a fact that stand-up comics are a lot funnier off stage. I mean when we’re not in deep depression. Of course our off stage humor is not for the tame of heart. Still, i think the rise in popularity in comedian podcasts is due to people wanting to be flies on the wall when comics stop being polite and start being real.
I wonder if my unicycle girl has a monkey? (see the joke link for context)