Silence is the virtue of fools. -Sir Francis Bacon
Question #89698 posted on 05/14/2017 12:32 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have to perform in a talent show of sorts. The problem is I have no performing talent. My talent lies in reading books and doing homeowork. I'm not complaining but I need ideas. What should a do for a talent show if I have no talent?

-Not a singer or dancer


Dear Aziraphale,

You can do a headstand! In case you don't already know how do one, here is a trusty guide you can follow to add this skill to your repertoire (and I passed off my form by my yoga instructor, so you can know it's kosher):

1. Get down on all fours, with elbows on the floor. To make sure your elbows are the correct distance apart, make sure your fingers can just wrap around your arms, as pictured below. For your first few times, I advise being about as close to a wall as I am in these photos to help keep you from falling backwards. Note that you should avoid leaning on the wall, though. 

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2. Without moving your elbows from their position on the floor, stretch out your forearms, and interlace your fingers. Note that you want your feet in a tucked position (this will be important in a couple of steps).

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3. Now rest your head in your interlaced fingers. Your hands should be cradling the back of your head. Start to transfer your weight forward. It helps me to brace my shoulders at this stage, because in the actual stand, you want your body weight to be primarily supported by your forearms and shoulders as opposed to directly putting all that pressure on your head.

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4. This is the part where tucked toes come in handy (haha, I think I'm so punny... ) Straighten your back legs shifting your weight forward so only your toes are resting on the ground. 

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5. Proceed to walk your toes closer and closer to your body. As your weight continues to shift, it will feel pretty weird, so don't be unduly freaked out by that.


6. Depending on how flexible/strong you are, as you walk your legs towards your body, you may be able get them close enough so that they lift off the ground naturally, and then you can straighten them upwards immediately. Personally, I prefer to split lifting my legs up into a couple more steps. Once you can't walk your legs any closer to yourself, bend them, and tuck your knees into your chest. 


7. Now you can finally begin to straighten your legs. Make sure that you're keeping your spine straight, and maintaining a steady balance.


8. Continue straightening your legs until they're directly above your hips, which should be squarely above your shoulders. You should be positioned in such a way that balance comes naturally, i.e. you don't need to be working hard to keep from either falling backwards or forwards. Remember that your weight should be mainly falling on your forearms as opposed to your actual head. If you need to, occasionally tap the wall with a foot to help maintain balance.


9.You did it! Now practice until you can wow your audience at the talent show with your upside down stationary prowess (or if you don't want to do this as your talent, at least you can now say you can do a headstand).



Dear person,

Never underestimate your talents. I have gotten good reactions doing circular breathing (with a cup of water and a straw) and memorizing the birthdays of everyone in the audience. It's good to celebrate talents that aren't singing or playing the piano. 



Dear Don't Pull Me Closer, Tiny Not-Dancer,

In a ward talent show in days of yore, a man came up onstage and, accompanied by his roommate on the bongos, performed a selection of readings from Twilight. He'd simply ask the audience for a page number, turn to it, find a choice line, and then read that choice line very dramatically while his buddy improvised some beats. Let me tell you, it was hilarious. The spirit of this performance was recaptured in a more recent talent show, in which a different ward member came up on the stage and announced he'd be reciting the works of one of his favorite poets. He then proceeded to read the lyrics of "Heartless" by Kanye West, again in a very dignified and dramatic manner. And, like before, he had the audience in stitches.

If not something along those lines, you might consider memorizing and reciting a piece of narrative poetry. I'm thinking something like "Casey at the Bat" or "The Cremation of Sam McGee." You could recite some regular poetry if you wanted, but unless your audience is familiar with the work, they might not appreciate the symbolism and metaphors as much. "Casey" and "Cremation" are good in this sense because they avoid flowery language, contain a fair amount of humor, and tell a story as they go, all of which will help your audience be more engaged in your telling.

Best of luck to you!

-Frère Rubik