a performer’s story

a performer i know shared this story with me:

he and his family moved to nyc from puerto rico when he was in the fourth grade. he was asked by his teacher to memorize and recite a poem to the class. he chose ‘little brown baby‘ – (read the comment below the poem from january 7th).

while he was memorizing the poem his family was happily watching caddy shack in the next room. he decided to recite the poem the way bill murray’s character spoke in caddy shack. he doesn’t really know why he chose to recite the poem that way.

after his recitation his teacher took him by the arm into the hall and told him that what he’d done was horrible, and to never do something like that again. she was visibly upset with him.

his teacher was caucasian, and he had frequently experienced caucasians as unwilling to express their true feelings to someone’s face – and had heard they often seemed nice but then, behind your back, would do mean things. he was amazed that she would be so honest and direct with him about how she felt.

at that moment he decided to become a performer.