Recently I was asked to pinch-hit as an emcee and singer for a huge kids’ Christmas party (150 kids, a dozen teachers). Although it was at such short notice – I only received the party plan yesterday, and had never worked with most of the teachers before, or sang the songs before – I was really, really determined to do a good job of it. To be honest, with typical gaijin hubris and over-confidence, I was convinced that I would simply breeze through it all, and that everyone would be fantastically impressed with me. How wrong I was.
I bombed. It was awful. It got to the stage that they ended the party early because I had so clearly run out of patter and musical inspiration, and the kids were getting fidgety. I felt just dreadful, and I know it showed because kind people kept coming up to console me afterwards. When I got home I found some supportive emails on my computer, including this wonderful line: “Thank you for your hard hard work and your constant coming today.” Oh, if only my job were that simple!
I still feel awful, I haven’t felt this rotten in ages. I wonder if I should return the money that they paid me (not that they’d accept it back). To be sure, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. I mean, the kids were okay, thanks to “Santa” (thanks Dave from Australia!) making an appearance at the end of the party to distribute presents, and as for me, I’m pretty sure that I haven’t done any major damage to my career prospects or reputation or anything like that … but my pride has been damaged, and that’s not something I’m used to. Serves me right for being so cocky. Oh well, chalk it up to experience … hopefully not one that I’ll ever have to repeat.