Why walking on stage was harder than I thought.
“What are you doing?!” screamed the director, “Get off the stage! Now!” She was talking to me, of course. It wasn’t my voice that was driving her to distraction, it was my walk. It was the early 90s and I was playing Billy Bigelow in an amateur production of Carousel. It was the dream scene towards the end of the show where the chorus sings You’ll Never Walk Alone and I had to walk across the stage in slow-motion, like Steve Austin in the opening credits of the Bionic Man.
You might not have considered this, but when we walk, our arms swing with the motion of the opposing leg. So the left leg goes forward at the same time as the right arm, and so on. It keeps us from falling over (and looking ridiculous). Now, I know how to walk, it’s been said I have a very nice walk, but having to walk in slow-motion on stage with lots of people looking at you is another matter. So, contrary to millions of years of human evolution, when I walked on stage in my dreamy slow-motion state, I swung my left arm forward at the same time as my left foot and visa-versa. This looks even stranger than it sounds, hence the director screaming at me. No matter how much she screamed I couldn’t stop myself from doing it. Sue, the very kind choreographer, had to spend fifteen minutes teaching how to walk, slowly, like a normal human being.
I’ll be trying to walk up the gangway of Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas on Tuesday for a nine day cruise across the Atlantic to St. Lucia. Hopefully, without anyone screaming at me.