On Saturday night I attended Shane Koyczan's performance at The Vogue in Vancouver, BC. For those of you that are not familiar with Shane, he is poetic genius. Some of you may have seen him perform at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The first time I saw him was a small coffee shop on Commercial Drive in Vancouver around 2008. I had no idea who he was, I only knew that his words brought me to tears. I approached him before I left that night to tell him as much.
His performance on Saturday was extremely moving. Beyond the performance, what truly touched me were the anecdotes he shared about his family, his friends, his lovers and his bullies. He told us he had almost been off anti-depressants for a year and had quit smoking over a year ago. He did not mention his weight loss but that was pretty obvious as well. He shared the heartache of being bullied as a child. The hurt he suffered as an adult. He bravely invited us all in to understand his journey. What an amazing human being and for me a personal hero.
He travels the world performing his poetry and has 3 books so far... 2 of which I have carted around for years hoping for the opportunity to have them signed. I had my moment on Saturday night. I was so nervous. I was grateful my dear friend Deborah was there as the greatest wing woman in the world! She shared the performance, laughed with me, cried with me and then made sure I was in the right place to have my books signed. This was no small feat, the Vogue holds 1,000+ and has a very small lobby and you could see the staff were in a bit of a panic, as was I... I was probably about 5 people back. I listened the teenagers behind me filled with excitement talking about the fact they may miss the last sky train but didn't care because they were going to meet Shane Koyczan! Here's me 30 years older than them and having the same dialogue inside, freaking out with excitement. The gentleman in front of me asked Shane if he would sign his ticket stub and told him how moved he was by the performance. Shane was of course gracious so lovely signing his ticket and asking the man his name. Shane makes no bones about he is terrible with names.
It was then my turn. I wanted to be witty. I wanted to be memorable. The man is my hero after all, right?
I said,"well I'm going to make up for him I have 3 books for you to sign." Shane said, "wow you have the whole set."
AND THEN IT HAPPENED. He looked up paused and said, "is your name Melody?" Time stopped. I thought I'd had a break with reality. "Melody Fowler, right?" I am honestly unsure if I responded. My wing woman commented, "Wow you have a good memory." She looked at the stage horrified realizing he may think she meant the poetry and added, "for faces."
Now this may not be verbatim, understand I was questioning my sanity... but he answered something like, "well some faces are so beautiful you remember the name attached to them."
Once again I do not remember if I was able to squeak out thank-you - clearly there would be no witty or memorable dialogue coming from me, so I kissed him. I am GRATEFUL to the universe that security did not cart me away. It would have been worth it though... Whatever words followed I cannot recall, I know he thanked me for coming out...
WOW. Deborah and I like two schoolgirls re-enacted the scene over and over again on our way home. I am glad there was a witness because I absolutely would have checked myself in for observation if there hadn't been!
Everybody needs a hero. Not everybody's hero lives up to what they believe in their hearts and minds though. Mine surpassed anything I could of dreamed up.
Shane is included in the dedication of Life Lyrics and I had sent an email to his fan page saying as much - I don't know if he ever saw it... but if he sees this - I want him to know I can now say with some authority, I know what awesome tastes like!
You will continue to inspire me Share.
With Much Love,