On March 30th, my best friend got married. I was the Matron of Honor, requiring me to do a toast in front of her 100 guests. Me. Microphone. 200 eyes. 200 ears. 1 chance.
For the weeks leading up to that day, I was a wreck. I, admittedly, was consumed by my own fear of impending public humiliation instead of thinking of the bride. I so should have been fired. Which is why I didn’t tell her this until after the wedding.
I get nervous even being in the audience of an improv show. You know, for the performers. To make these total strangers more at ease, I like to have a steady stream of nervous laughter dribbling from my lips throughout the show, regardless of where it falls on the hilarity spectrum. I am an improvisational actor’s best friend. You’re welcome.
The last time I had to speak in front of a large audience was in 5th grade. I managed to inexplicably nab a small but coveted speaking part in our school play, which found me depositing two sentences into a microphone in a rapid whisper that absolutely no one heard. And I did it twice, the same way, in the morning show and the nighttime show. I like to tell myself that I was aiming for consistency. Nailed it!
How was the ceremony? I heard it was lovely. I dunno. I was rehearsing the toast in my head while I stood next to the bride. Over and over and over again. Until I wanted to throw up. I fear watching the wedding video, as I am quite certain my lips were moving the whole time. As if I was perhaps putting a voodoo curse on the new couple. (I wasn’t.)
But somehow, I managed to pull it off, and, according to some, deliver the best toast they have ever heard. In their ENTIRE LIVES.
So yesterday, exactly 6-1/2 weeks after the wedding, I thought about the toast. And realized that I did a really good job. Wait… an EXCELLENT job.
This is both awesome and tragic, because I clearly focus too much on the things I do wrong, and not enough on the things I do right.
Time to change that. So basically, I wanted to ask if I could publicly toast you. Please?
Just kidding. Don’t ask me to do that. Don’t even joke about it. Because I will cut you.