That’s St(ella) by starlight, and not a dream.
What a wild ride.
It’s so crazy to believe how far I have come personally, as well as how the whole group has come since our grade 9 eminent speeches. I can still vividly remember how nervous I was waiting to give my speech in 2015. And that too, I had a script in my hand, my friends in the crowd, and everyone cheering my on right in front of me. This time around was a completely different side of the coin. Never having memorized a speech in my life before, I was reasonably freaking out about this. I wasn’t even able to nail down how I wanted to approach writing the speech till the week of Night of the Notables. I had an unorganized passion when I tried to write my speech, and found it so difficult I nearly cried trying to write it. And now here I am, having done my second and last eminent speech ever.
It came as a surprise to me how the entire night, the nerves were no where to be found, until just when I was about to go on stage. I was shaking, running on the spot, pacing around behind the curtain, running my lines over in my head an uncountable amount of times.
I had never felt anything like it, in all my years of singing performances and public speaking, the rush of having to perform a scene on stage. Stepping through the curtain and feeling the warmth of the lights was familiar, but everything else was foreign. I wasn’t myself. I was Ella, and I really got into it, having practiced with an accent and planned out actions. I really felt in my element, delivering that scene to the audience. And as soon as I got off, I wanted to go right back on and perform the whole thing again! That, I never expected.
Here is my final speech performance:
The learning center was something that, as per usual, went way better than I had expected. I had so much fun just embodying Ella Fitzgerald and explaining her life story to them, as well as occasionally being able to break out of character and talk about my person connections with her. I met so many people who had the immense love for her music that I do, and I had some really beautiful conversations.
The end of the night was definitely bittersweet. It was a relief that we were done with the project, but the reality that this was already a part of TALONS we would never get to experience from a performance point of view again was a bit saddening. It was invigorating, and was full of support and love from everyone involved. I am beyond excited to be able to attend Night of the Notables next year and watch from the audience this time.