The red-headed drag queen with the never-ending legs, gold glitter eyeshadow and pointy stilettos kept appearing on stage with a khaki-colored baby stroller from the 50s.
Just like that creepy Rosemary’s Baby stroller with the devil’s baby inside.
What the hell was that stroller doing there all of the time?
Were the songs all about babies? Collateral from previous relationships? Reflections on responsibility and independence? The pursuit of liberty? Growth and transformation?
I had no clue.
All of the songs performed that night were by an old-school French composer named Jean-Jacques Goldman that none of us American expats in my entourage had ever heard of. (side note: a friend chose the campy drag show as a fun offbeat activity for a birthday celebration, and it was a BLAST!).
When the stroller appeared on stage for the third time, my friend Ajiri leaned over and whispered the exact question that was running through my mind for the last 45 minutes: “What’s the deal with the stroller?”
Then I looked carefully and realized that the stroller wasn’t just a bizarre prop, but a makeshift stand for the drag queen’s song lyrics. That’s why she was always singing to the stroller!
I shared my discovery with Ajiri and we both agreed how freaking brilliant that was, and here’s why:
Evaluate & focus on the essentials, even if it means making some adjustments:
Since the performances at Madame Arthur change each week, the drag queens only have a few days to learn their songs. (next week: Barbra Streisand). That means they either have to sweat their sweet cheeks off all week memorizing those boring lyrics or come up with another way to put on a great show. My guess is that they have better things to do between shows and feel like the stroller/lyric stand is a fabulous and cryptic work around for saving their precious time.
Don’t let memorizing lyrics hold you back from being a diva onstage (aka process over perfection):
One of the amazing things about working with constraints is how it forces you to get creative. We think we have to master everything, be an expert, reach that perfect (unattainable) place, that we never try anything for fear of failing and looking like a fool! But what’s so amazing about recognizing your limits is that you can get creative with what is in your control, and surprise yourself and others and bring a whole lot a joy to the process but just saying, “This is where I am now and this is what I’ve got. Enjoy!”
Perfection is boring. Share your eccentricities and imperfections to inspire and empower.
By doing/being who you are (limits, strollers and all) instead of waiting for the magic wand to make you perfect, you’ll create a ripple effect around you that inspires others to let their hair down and loosen up a bit. You can role model anything you want, including authenticity. And guess what. People see it and love it. Myself included. I’m now inspired to find my creepy stroller prop for my next scary challenge: getting on stage and singing at an open mic jam at a rock school performance with my husband (he’s a rock teacher for kids and adults and has convinced me that this will be fun!). I’m freaking out but also really want to do it.
So what do you think my creepy stroller prop should be?
And more importantly, what creepy stroller prop do you need to create to try that thing out that you think you’re not ready for?