I was completely upstaged at my last reading.
The last time I read at a Storytellers event at The Penny Farthing, I read a portion from my memoir about growing up Greek American. I decided to mix it up a bit this last time. Since I’ve been working really hard these days on Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, I selected a snippet from one of its chapters. The reading itself went well. A friend I hadn’t seen in forever surprised me by showing up, so that was super encouraging. And one of the other performers shared their own travel experiences before it was my turn, so that was a nice little connection. All of the performers — poets, musicians, monologists — were incredible. Everyone was so talented and their artistry felt so effortless.
But we were all upstaged when the last poet takes to the mic. The entire evening the MC had been playing the role of standup comic with eye-roll-inducing pick up lines. When she announced the last poet, he started reciting a love poem to his girlfriend. Then he stepped away from the microphone and opened a little box. The room went wild! His girlfriend went wild! He had proposed! It was like something out of a movie. So sweet, so beautiful.
He stole the show.