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Monday, May 30, 2011

From the Spotlight

Everyone who knows me knows that I don't really enjoy the spotlight very much. I don't really like to be the highlight of the party, the big star, etc. I've always enjoyed being involved in this and that, of course - but being the 'superstar' of Lanzhou University of Technology (especially the West Campus) is something that I could never have imagined back home. Let me tell you about the happiest memory that I have of China so far. 
Today was the semifinals (or 3/4 finals or something) of the music/singing/band competition on the West Campus. I was really nervous about it, because for one I was going to be singing in front of people (again...I had done it the week before for round 2) and two, I was going to be singing in Chinese and playing a guitar solo. However, once we had done soundcheck and played a little preview, I got really, really excited.
First was the song Good Riddance (The Time of Your Life) by Green Day - that was so much fun to sing - my friends/bandmates really love the song and we had a blast practicing it and performing it. The crowd loved us so much, they started saying 加一 个, 加一个, which means "another one, another one!" 
So we obliged! We played a song, which translated, means "the old boy". It is one of the most popular songs in China - everyone knows it. I told the crowd we were going to sing it and they all kind of looked at each other with that look of 'really? he's gonna sing that? he doesn't even speak much Chinese!' I showed them! After I sang the first line of the song, the crowd went nuts!!! It was so cool, I've never been in that kind of situation before and it made me feel so happy - so happy, in fact, that I got distracted and forgot to sing the second line! My friend Janson saved me, he saw that I forgot and sang it for me.
After bumbling through the guitar solo, we got to the last two choruses and Janson told the crowd to sing along if they knew the words. Me, Janson, Boss, and the crowd all sang the last two choruses together - even the judges! People were taking pictures of us, cheering, clapping, shouting, singing, it was such a great moment that I wish could have lasted forever. I'm grinning like an idiot thinking about it now. 
On that stage, I felt alive and completely and truly happy. I was with my friends, I was playing guitar and singing for a crowd that I knew loved me - it was truly one of the best moments of me life. These past few weekends during band practice have been some of my happiest here in Lanzhou. My friend Janson told me that he is happiest on stage playing music, and when I saw him playing today along with me and Boss, I could really tell. I think it might have also been true for me today. I looked through the crowd while we played our songs, seeing friends and giving them a nod of recognition; my heart leapt when I saw their faces. I feel like I've really found a home here - I don't know what I will do when it comes time to leave.
That is my happiest memory of China so far.

1 comment:

  1. I am only just now reading this. WOW! That's so wonderful Austin I'm so so so happy for you!!!! How incredible that you were able to realize a different aspect of yourself and find something new to make you so happy.


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