Decal

Decal: (n) a specially prepared paper bearing a design for transfer to wood, metal, glass, etc.

 The extra-large was not quite big enough.

It was the story of my adolescent life.

I was always just a little bigger than the size chart proposed, and the clothes-makers made available.

But the guys in the group had their hearts set on these bright yellow-gold, open-front sweaters that we could wear onstage whenever we actually found ourselves onstage, playing our music.

Like most high school bands, we talked and planned more than we set up and performed.

We practiced twice a week—for no gigs.

And every once in a while, we got the itch to buy a stage outfit—for no stages.

I had to admit that the sweater was absolutely one of the coolest things I’d ever seen in my life. It looked great on everybody else—whose bodies aligned in the righteous station of normal.

But it was small on me.

I didn’t care.

I decided to buy it along with the rest of my friends.

And suddenly we were the possessors of the coolest outfit to wear if a stage were ever made available.

Black pants. Black banlon turtlenecks. Gold sweaters.

A mother of one of the guys suggested that we needed some sort of decal on the sweater to set it apart as unique to us.

We didn’t know exactly what she meant, but we nodded in respect. Sensing our confusion, she gathered up the sweaters and said, “Give me a week and I’ll give you a surprise.”

We had no capacity to object.

Two weeks later, she handed us back our golden sweaters—except on the top left panel, near the shoulder, there was a B and a Q decal, which she had embroidered into the cloth.

Since we were called “The Blessings Quartet” it was pretty cool.

Actually, we were all shocked at how neat it looked and how groovy it was, considering it had been made by an adult.

It did not make my sweater fit better.

But to this day I believe that we started getting opportunities to perform because word of our gorgeous sweaters, with the decal, quickly spread throughout the surrounding masses.

 

Backstage

Backstage: (n) the area in a theater out of view of the audience, especially in the wings or dressing rooms.Dictionary B

Everyone who ends up onstage has to spend some time backstage.

Matter of fact, you may feel that you’re cursed to that arena, never to gain spotlight.

But I have been backstage many times in my life, and I will tell you, there was never one single occasion when I failed to learn something.

I went through a season when I warmed up the audience for national acts, who were much more famous and adept at the art form than me. So being backstage was a mingling of realizing that no one in the large audience knew who I was–or cared, for that matter–and that if I was to gain any traction whatsoever, I would be required to arrive with my running shoes.

I’ve also been backstage during talent competitions when it was obvious that the person performing center-stage before me was equally talented, or even more blessed, and I needed to refuse to criticize them, but instead, just give my best.

Backstage is where we learn to listen and prepare instead of perform and mug for the audience.

It’s where we take inventory of what we are about to do and eliminate foolish choices.

It is the location for the introspection that causes us to become viable to those around us instead of just becoming jealous no-talents.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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