I love theatre. I love singing, I love dancing (though I’m not very good at it) and I love acting which seems obvious, because I am a theatre arts teacher! 

Well one thing you may not know, which doesn’t lend itself well to my love for theatre, I am terrible at memorizing. 

Really terrible. 

There are pros and cons to having a bad memory. 

Pro - if you want to tell me a secret, I’m the gal for you, I won’t tell a soul, because, well...I’ll probably forget. 

But there seems to be far more cons to not remembering, especially in acting. 

To memorize a script for me takes AGES. I’ve learned some techniques that help, but it still takes me a while! 

There have been a few too many times in rehearsals, auditions, or in performances that I have forgotten lines, dance steps or where I’m going. 

But one of the most embarrassing moments for having a brain fart, would have been when I was asked to sing the National Anthem at the Leduc Rodeo. 

I think you can see where this is going. 

I practiced and practiced. I listened to the anthem over and over. You’d think from singing it MY WHOLE LIFE, I’d be able to remember the song. 

And then came the night. I was standing behind the scenes, with the kicking horses and bulls, by the burley cowboys, quaking in my own little cowboy boots (always dress for the occasion) they introduced me.  I walked out to the middle of the dirt, humming my starting note to myself, I held the microphone up to my mouth, and began ‘O Canada, our home and native land, true patriot love, in all our sons command’…. (internal dialogue: “Wait, what’s the next part?! Crap I definitely forget the next part. Brain work! Work!  Nope.”) 

So, as I did not remember the next words of our NATION ANTHEM, really?! I quickly held out the microphone and gestured to the audience to sing along!  And it worked!  With the help of improvising, no one could tell I had forgotten the song, and I quickly joined back in as the audience reminded me, unknowingly, of the words. 

The Rodeo since then has kindly asked me to sing again. 

I have so far graciously declined.

But, my misstep didn't stop me from doing what I love, and I learned that knowing how to improvise doesn't hurt either.

Keep up the great work everyone, Miss Melissa

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