I had a gig today.

It was at the St. David’s Anglican church, in their parish.

It was just north of Donlands Ave. and Bloor, a real Muslim neighbourhood! Just up the street was Wilkinson Ave. P.S. where I’ve presented at so many times, but this was for the Mosaic Storytelling festival.

I didn’t think there’d be much of an audience. I thought, if I get five people I’d still give them my all. Heck, who am I kidding? If there were two people, I’d have given them my all.

I thought there’d be at least five what with the organizers and such.

We ended up with a very respectable audience of 78 people, give or take a few!

And they’d set up the room so prettily!

With comfy sofas in a semi circle and rugs for the little ones to sit on.

One of the parents had even decided to hold her daughter’s birthday party right afterwards.

The room was properly darkened, except for me, under the ‘spotlights’.

I was extremely nervous!

I’ve always heard that nerves are a good thing. It means you respect your audience.

I often get nervous even for school presentations, but nothing like today!

The nerves around school presentations are mostly concerned with getting there on time, but this was an out of the ordinary presentation.

Haven’t actually done straight storytelling for quite some time now.

I always enjoy it! Probably more than the audience.

But still I was nervous last night and dreading today, and maybe that’s why I woke up with the worst kink in my neck.

Could barely turn my head to the right, so much so, that I got worried driving down to Donlands and parked at Ellesmere subway. I couldn’t be sure I was checking my right blindspot properly!

I ended up telling five stories. And with the very first one, with the feedback from the audiences, with them laughing at all the right moments, it really buoyed my spirits!

Of course I told my Big Red Lollipop story in honour of the birthday girl! Then I went romantic (in honour of Valentine’s day that’s coming up) with Dajan Tigh and The Clever Wife.

Two of my favourites!

The m.c. said I was fantastic, and that I’d made her cry twice!

And then of course all the people came up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed it.

But I knew I probably enjoyed it as much as they had! Maybe even more!

There’s just something about holding an audience spellbound, waiting, eyes wide, for what will happen next!

And there was a moment in Dajan Tigh where the story got pretty intense, and the little ones in the front had almost a fearful look on their faces!

Oh to see their wide round eyes! They couldn’t have been more than seven years old!

And I had thought they’d start squirming, but they didn’t.

They stuck with me for the whole hour, and as I left, I thought I wish I got more opportunities to just story tell.

It would do me good.