Embarrassment Won’t Kill You

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When I was about 15, I went to a school fancy dress party as Cleopatra. In a long halterneck dress that tied at the back of the neck.

And I wore it without a bra because I wasn’t very well-endowed at the time and besides, I didn’t own a backless bra.

And I did that thing that you should never do when you are wearing a halterneck dress without a bra and are slow-dancing with teenage boys. I tied it in a bow, instead of a ninja death knot with 15 safety pins.

Aaaaannnnddddd I think you can see where this story is going, yes?

I danced for several minutes before I realised that everyone was pointing and laughing hysterically. And I wondered why. And then I looked down.

People, I am here to tell you that you cannot, in fact, die of embarrassment. You can certainly WISH that you could die of embarrassment but you will not die just because everyone laughs at you.

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Which is why you’ll find me immortalised on the sweet and funny ‘Fearless Karaoke’ video that Natalie Peluso made to launch her new site, Sing Your Truth. I’m the one making flirty eyes at the camera.

Yep, I jumped in and videoed myself singing. Even though I was just getting over a sore throat. Even though my honey forgot to tell me that the headphones he lent me were noise-cancelling ones, so I couldn’t hear my own voice and it turns out that’s Not A Good Thing when you’re singing (many thanks to Natalie for using some of my more tuneful bits in the video). Even though singing in public is nerve-racking.

But I did it anyway because let’s face it, once you’ve accidentally flashed your entire school as a teenager*, everything else kind of pales into insignificance, even singing badly on the internet.

Kudos to my fellow fearless karaoke-ers and huge big congratulations to Natalie – I know the site is going to be just fantastic. If you don’t already know Natalie’s previous writing on The Tiny Soprano, you should go over and check out her archives, there’s lots of great stuff about motivation, money and fearlessness.

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*This isn’t even the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to me, although it is pretty high up the list.**

**You know what makes this story even more embarrassing? It was only when I was typing this out that it occurred to me that my dress probably hadn’t fallen down by accident. Sigh. I am slow sometimes.

OK, lovelies, dare you share? Let’s have your thoughts on the scary power of embarrassment in the comments. Or you can compliment me on my fine singing voice – I am entirely open to flattery, even if you’re lying.

I am an artist & purveyor of obsessive projects based in Hebden Bridge, England. My work involves the accretion of large numbers of small objects - pins in fabric, knots in string or hundreds of envelopes - to make sculptures that deal with fragility, loss, repetition, obsession and time.

13 thoughts on “Embarrassment Won’t Kill You

  1. Well I was taken by you very coquettish glances at the camera – contrasted nicely with the swigging from the Magners galss, which made us collapse with laughing! You were sensation ma dear, and you have to be prepared as this may become an annual fest!!!

    Here's to being fearless!

    x Nats

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  2. Thank you. I am just relieved that you didn't use the truly awful bit at the beginning where I was flatter than a pancake. :)

    You know, one of the interesting things for me about making my little videos has been discovering how flirty I am. I genuinely hadn't realised this because I have pass blindness. I told you I was slow.

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  3. At the time, I truly wished the floor would open up and swallow me whole. I was mortified. Now I can look back on it and think, 'damn, that was funny.' It has, admittedly, taken me nearly 30 years to get to that stage…

    Oh, and the glass was just orange juice. Believe it or not, I was stone cold sober when I recorded my contribution.

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