As the applause dies down, they announce our act. My heart kicks it up a notch and they bring the lights down.

God, I love this.

My partner stands in the dark, in the middle of the stage, her back to the audience. The bass line starts and the lights come up. The crowd goes wild as they see her dressed in my button-down shirt, my suit jacket, my red tie, sun glasses, and her black boler hat. Then you hear the words:

Oh my god, Becky, look at her butt...

When the spoken intro to Sir Mix-a-lot's Baby Got Back ends, my partner goes into the rap. She is hot shit. This when I make my entrance.

There are very few times when I have heard an audience of NYU Stern School of Business students explode to this magnitude and roar in sheer excitement -- and laughter. Yes. Loony got back.

Silver wig. Blush painstakingly applied. Red lipstick obnoxiously bright. T-shirt tied into a bra. Black skirt. HUGE ass.

It was a glorious show.

Some comments I received after the show:

  • Girl: I was like, "Wow, that girl's got a great stomach. Oh my god, that girl's a guy!"
  • Guy: I have never laughed so hard in my life!
  • Professor: You're a damned sexy girl, Loon. Damned sexy.
  • Everyone else: Hahaha...

I sang my first note into the microphone and, to my horror, the microphone wasn’t working.

I was in fourth grade, singing in front of a big audience for the first time. I had heard a month earlier that our school would be having a talent show. I had always liked singing, but until then had only sung in front of my friends and family.

At first I was unsure about entering the talent show. Fourth graders were the youngest students they would allow in the talent show, so I would be one of the youngest people in the show. I wasn’t very confident about my singing. My friends and family would tell me that they liked my voice, but I always thought they were just trying to be nice. I figured they were telling me that because I was just a little kid.

However, because I had been doing many dance recitals since the age of three, and because I loved the feeling of performing in front of audiences, I really wanted to enter the talent show.

Dancing was something that I felt confident doing though. I had been dancing my whole, life so every dance recital seemed so easy. I knew singing in front of an audience would be much different.

Eventually I worked up the courage to enter the talent show. After I picked the song, “ The Girl I Mean to Be”. I would practice it nonstop. I sang to anyone who would listen. I sang in the shower, in the car, in front of the mirror in my room. I sang everywhere.

Finally the day of the talent show arrived. It seemed like one of the longest days of my life. I was such a nervous wreck. Walking around my house like a zombie, I was thinking about all the things that could go wrong.

What if I forget my words? What if I freeze on stage because I’m so nervous? What if I trip and fall as I’m walking onto the stage? These were the thoughts that crossed my mind as I was waiting for the night of the talent show to arrive.

After that long day, finally there I was waiting backstage for my turn to go on, praying that I wouldn’t make a fool out of myself. I was growing more nervous by the minute. Then I heard it. “ And now here’s Alex singing “The Girl I Mean to Be” from The Secret Garden.”

I took a deep breath and walked slowly onto the stage.

Standing in front of the microphone, I waited for my music to begin. After the introduction, I began to sing. Right away, I realized that something was wrong. The microphone wasn’t working. I looked around at the audience, and I could tell they couldn’t hear me. I fumbled with the switch on the microphone, but it still didn’t work. I tried to sing louder, but I could tell by the look on the audiences’ faces that I wasn’t loud enough for them to hear me.

Girls who were working behind the scenes gathered by the sound board trying to figure out what was wrong with the microphone. I could see them flipping some switches. At my last verse, the microphone finally started working. I was so relieved. I sang with all the power I had, making the last part of song the best I could make it.

After I was done singing, the audience gave me a great round of applause. When I walked off the stage, my mom was there with a big smile on her face.

“ You were great, Alex,” she said. And for the first time, I believed her.

Singing in that talent show gave me a lot of confidence. Since then, I’ve been in many musicals and have been entered many more talent shows. I’m so glad that I had the courage to enter that first talent show. Though it didn’t go perfectly, it taught me that even if something doesn’t start off as I want it to, I can turn it around and end it with a smile.

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