drew's blog

stale mates

May 3, 2011
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The juniors and seniors at my school asked me to participate in a comedy show they were putting on.  I agreed, thinking that if it were to actually happen, it could be really fun, but it could very well turn out to be like my experience with the local musicians and producers. I never elaborated on that situation because it turned out to be pretty herky-jerky. I played in a blues café a couple times, which is what I originally agreed to and was then invited to sing on TV. I said ‘sure’ but each time I was called to rehearse, circumstances had changed. In the end they wanted me to sing something in Georgian. I felt like I was compromising my talent and opted out. It just wasn’t what they told me I’d be doing in the beginning. All I wanted was the café experience. So when the comedy show opportunity came up, I said ‘sure’ with no expectations, except for maybe that I wouldn’t get a call until the day before the show.  It turns out it was already the week of the show. I was told this was an urgent matter and very important that I participate. I was made to drop all other plans or else certain people that I work with would be upset with me. I was a little aggravated because a friend was loaning me his electric guitar to practice precisely during the time of the comedy show rehearsal. I haven’t played an electric guitar in years and this was my only chance to practice uninterrupted before my next ‘gig’. Up until this point, I had just used my acoustic. When I told my colleague that I would be late for comedy rehearsal because I had another rehearsal scheduled, she thought I was being selfish and that I just wanted to be with my friends. I tried to tell her it had nothing to do with friends; that I would be alone and also that this would be my only chance to work on an art form (music) that means much more to me than that of theatre. To say the least, I appeased my colleague and went to the comedy show, and as for the gig, it went pretty poorly, but it was worth it.

The comedy show went spectacularly. My school won first place for the third year straight and I believe I played an integral role to that end. We did a skit in which I was an angry English teacher. I spoke something of a popular Georgian catchphrase from television. The crowd went wild.  The other skit was me performing as a “Georgia’s Got Talent” contestant. I was only supposed to sing for maybe four or five seconds, but the audience began clapping and I went with it. In the skit, the judge was disgusted with my performance and walked out on me.  I told her, “Kurtumos nu aknev, gogo!” which roughly translated is, “Don’t shake your rear, girl!” Before I knew it, the audience was rushing the stage and I was giving an interview that I would broadcast nationally. One of my best, if not thee best experience, I had in Georgia.

That was a month ago. I can hardly believe how fast things are coming to a close. I have grown to love this place so much. It hasn’t been easy, not that I thought it would be. I had no expectations, but was still surprised from encounter to encounter. People are people. I think we’re all pretty much the same, with some differences. –not the other way around. Those differences have been confusing and even frustrating. After getting to know these people, I have gradually developed expectations. It happens. I’m not that disappointed, but I know I would have been better off without. Having preferences instead would have complimented my Georgian experience wonderfully. I’m not saying it hasn’t been wonderful. It has, and I desperately want to come back soon. I’m saying that when expectations aren’t met, it messes with head and heart if you let it. Sometimes I let it. Georgians have had expectations of me & when I don’t qualify, a psychological chess game ensues. I’ve tried to refuse to play, but there’s a chance I come off as crazy, so instead, I’ve had to castle my king, hiding my heart, playing to win (where everybody wins), but not really having a clue of which moves to make. I can’t remember the last time I’ve won at chess, psychological or regular.

What can I say? I’ve been at Georgia’s disposal. I’ve tried to be my own man while letting my hosts groom me to be as Georgian as possible. I’ve tried to show how much I care by participating in all things Georgian. And although they call me ‘Jori’ (Ass) when I refuse to guzzle the grape or smoke the square, I thank God who gave me that stubbornness to know when I am right. It’s not a ‘Sobota’ thing. It’s a Holy Ghost thing.


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I'm currently teaching English in the republic of Georgia. I started this blog so that those I love & those interested can read all about my experience.