Last week Rosie & the Riveters performed for members of the Royal family (Prince Edward and Princess Sophie - the Queen's youngest son and wife). My genetics were very pleased.
My mother and her family immigrated to Canada in the 60's so, of course, my training to have lunch with the Queen started from birth. As a kid, I often heard: "If you don't know how to (insert important dining knowledge here), what ever will you do if you're invited to lunch with the Queen?".
My family is "eccentric" and not proper - still - they tried their best to educate me should this moment ever arrive.
And here was my chance - the moment (or close to it), that I had been preparing for my whole life. While the Riveters were deep in the dungeon of the servants quarters putting on our outfits, I got nervous.
It occurred to me that our show is definitely NOT proper or ladylike in the traditional sense. I thought: Maybe we're a bit much. Maybe we should pull it back a bit - Something more suited for the Queens' lunch my mother prepared me for.
I said to the band:
"Maybe we should change our show? Make it a bit more proper" aka... less silly dancing, mouth trumpet battles and off colour jokes about nudity.
Alexis, adjusting her lipstick, pipped up and said "No, they hired our show, lets give them OUR show".
Melissa and Allyson agreed wholeheartedly.
Eeek!! I guess we'll go out there and be ourselves I thought. Terrifying.
It was decided I would tell the confidence story. If you've ever heard it you know that it involves a bit of nudity. To deliver it well though...I couldn't hide. I had to be myself...the totally "not proper" self that I really am.
When we got on stage, I couldn't even look the Princess in the eye. I just smiled and looked passed everyones heads. I guessed that she probably had her pleasant face on - the one I imagine you HAVE to have when your whole life is attending luncheons with performances like this across the world.
We got to the part with the confidence story..... luckily, I wasn't alone. 3 beautiful ladies stood beside me and held space for us to be the weirdos we are.
I milked it with all the pause and ridiculousness I could.
The room exploded in laughter! Prince, Princess and all the Majors and Generals. They all loved the story. Then we proceeded to silly dance and mouth trumpet our way into their hearts.
Now I look back sooooo proud we took that risk.
To really be us.
To really be me.
Weirdos and all.
I know that we all hold back. We all have moments when we doubt that being ourselves is a good idea. That's why we all need other women to stand beside and whisper (go for it girl!). If you don't have your own Riveters, know that we are routing for you and maybe try and hold space for someone else to be their awesome weird selves.