“We’ve all got secrets that we hold inside The worst little things that we try and defy The worst one of all that you never can hide Is that you’re never quite as strong as you sound” Frank Turner If Ever I Stray
Next week, Menagerie choir performs their sell-out show Sounds Like Teen Spirit over nights at Perth’s Fringe World Festival.
This is my second “season” in the indie pop choir, and my first big Fringe performance – both with the choir and generally, though the choir have sold out performances at the festival the last two years, too.
In true Menagerie-at-Fringe style, the choir will be performing songs that have significance to members, with storytellers sharing why they chose those songs and what thes songs mean to them.
That includes me.
I’m sharing a story about the song Freak, by Silverchair. It’s not very indie pop. But that’s ok. My story is about growing up, and feeling like a freak. Feeling weird and different and like an outsider. Not fitting in, not being cool, and feeling like the only one.
In 1997, I didn’t have the Internet. Hell, I didn’t even have MTV. There was no Tumblr back then to show me that I wasn’t alone. There was only my small town, and the people in it.
It’s a very personal story. It’s a story about keeping secrets and hiding pain. And I am kind of a little terrified to be sharing this side of myself so publicly.
I’ve been performing poetry and spoken word pieces to audiences since I was 18. I will almost always read from a page, even if I know the piece, and if I know it well I can put feeling and emotion into it. I’m told that I read well in those situations. But you know what? It scares me, still. I’m 35 now and I still get scared every single time I read or perform a piece.
Now I have to stand before a Fringe audience, for five straight nights, not freeze, not fuck it up, and share the secrets that I have inside – particularly that I’m ever quite as quite as strong as I sound.
Alt!Olivia: You know, there’s a lot of things about you that I wish I had. There’s a lot of things about you that I admire.
Olivia: That’s funny, I was about to say the same thing about you. Keep looking up after it rains. Keep looking up.
Alt!Olivia: I will.