One thing I appreciate about the BBC is their yearly coverage of the Glastonbury Festival. I sometimes watch bands enthral an audience and think, “I could do that.” I guess a lot of abled non-musicians and amateurs feel the same way, only they can derive pleasure off the fact that they really could become good enough for Glastonbury with a lot of work and a bit of luck.
When I say “I could do that” I can truly believe it without feeling any guilt or regret over a lack of ambition. Of course I would headline Glastonbury if I had an average voice to work with and could control both my arms! Ten million people would pay just to watch me.
I do think I have a hidden flair for stage presence and audience interaction, but I’ll probably never find a way to prove it. Some days I feel like an extravert hiding in the body of an introvert. Ironically, I think it’s harder to stand out in society when you’re in a wheelchair. I used to be pretty extraverted, joking around with strangers and talking faster than I could think. Then I went through a patch after school where I realised a lot of people in the real world would rather avoid me, and so I focussed on enjoying alone-time instead; sometimes I wonder if I’ve gotten too good at this.
Anyway, live entertainment. When I go to see an accomplished performer excel at their chosen art, I think I experience an additional pleasure unavailable to abled people. I see a person who’s honed their ability to create something wonderful. It’s nice to watch somebody take maximum advantage of their abilities. For example, I love seeing someone going crazy on the piano. If I wasn’t disabled, I think the piano would’ve been my go-to instrument to practice and probably fail at. When I see a skilled and enthusiastic player, I usually end up living out my fantasy through them. I’m up on stage killing it and the audience is going nuts.