Monthly Archives: November 2009
Go, Eli, Go!Save Charity Hospital! http://www.vimeo.com/champsuperstar
I am a pro mover. I pick a city I like and move there. Usually without knowing a soul, having a job or any kind of plan.
My first action was usually to pick a bar and go hang out. Props included: Guinness, a notebook, a weekly and a book. This was usually enough to spark a decent conversation and get to know all things where/what/who. After awhile, having the same conversation over and over about why I ended up there would get a little boring, so I started a social experiment. I started making up stories about why, most of them I’ve forgotten by now. But, there was one that I loved and I got totally carried away with and a tweet from @theh2hproject this morning reminded me of it.
One of these prop-related incidents ended up with me talking to a poor, gullible schmoe named Scott. I probably only saw him one other time after that night, but I’ll never forget him. He was my most successful social experiment. And by successful, I mean he got totally served.
We started talking and the inevitable question came up: So what brought you to Austin?
The rest went like this:
Me: “Well, can I tell you something without you thinking I’m crazy?”
Scott: “Of course!”
Me: “Look, I moved here from Atlanta to live out a life long dream. A dream my mother said would never, ever come true. A dream my mother said would never take me anywhere. But, I had to do it. I had to try.”
Scott (wide-eyed): “What’s that dream?”
Me: “You’re gonna think I’m crazy.”
Scott: “Not at all! What’s the dream?”
At this point, I lowered my voice and leaned in, looking around for eavesdroppers. Scott leaned in.
Me: “You really wanna know?”
Me: “To dance. To tap dance.”
I think at this point, if I was on the other side of the conversation, I would have burst into raging fits and starts of laughter. But, not Scott. Scott was sweet and trusting and his eyes got even wider.
I nodded and leaned back in my chair, pausing for dramatic effect. Satisfied. I had this guy. Hook, line, sinker. In that order. I let him marinate on that for awhile and went to order another beer. I could see the wheels turning and turning as I sneaked peeks of his face from the wait at the bar. I stayed in character. Tap dancer. I was a tap dancer now. I got my beer and took a deep breath, returning to the table.
Scott: “So, your mom told you that you’d never make it as a dancer?” Me: “Yes. She said I’m too big and clumsy to ever be graceful like a tapper. For years, I believed her.”
Scott: “Wow. Wow.”
We paused for a few sips, enjoying the atmosphere. I looked around with wonderment and hope against hope in my eyes. I waited for Scott to ask another question.
Scott: “So…you moved to Austin to fulfill this dream?”
Me: “I did. And I’m going to do it. I’m going to make it as a tapdancer. I’ve got softshoe in my heart, in my blood. It keeps me awake at night. Tappity-tap, tappity-tap, it says to me. I hear it on the wind, around every corner, when I’m in the grocery store or waiting in traffic. Tappity-tap is the beat of my heart, every kick ball change echoes throughout my soul. This…”
I looked around and spread my arms, indicating the whole of the city.
Me: “…this is where it shall happen.”
Scott: “So, is there a big tap scene in Austin?”
Me: “Oh god yes. It’s huuuuge. Huge. The biggest around. The capital of tap. The TAPITAL, if you will.”
Me: “You’re damn right, unbelievable. I’m here to do it. I’M HERE TO LIVE MY DREAM.”
I finished my beer and grabbed my props, dramatically, whisking myself away and leaving Scott in amazement. I walked to the exit and turned to him.
Me: “I’m gonna do it, Scott. I’m gonna do it.”
I left the bar satisfied with myself and hoping he believed me. I didn’t see Scott again for what would be months and when I did, the first question he asked was, “How’s the tapdancing going?”
I did it. Social experiment complete.