My journey to the JV show stage

Claudia Gusman and Clare Doss play plaino and bongos on stage

The author (right) performs along with junior Claudia Gusman at the 2017 JV show. (Photo courtesy of Carol Sly)

A year ago, when I was a sophomore, my mom persisted that I should participate in the JV show, Mason’s twice-a-year student variety show. I kept telling her “No” because I was too scared to go on stage. I was on the receiving end of a disappointed face when I reported the fact that I “missed” the interest meeting for the fall show that year. However, once spring came around and her persisting began again, I decided to do the show – or at least sign up for it.

The days of my performance loomed ahead and I became very nervous until the very second I went on stage and all the way through my performance (I played Hero by Family of the Year on harp and sang).

The nerves didn’t go away this year either, when I signed up to do a duet of Lady Gaga’s Million Reasons at the fall 2017 show. But I learned that when anyone goes on stage, they find themselves nervous. Then, when you come back from the spotlight and off the stage, the other performers are there to greet them with the same phrase: “You were so good.”

It seems insincere when heard so often, but in all honesty it is truly heartfelt as all the performers are truly so good. It is uplifting and reassuring to be welcomed back into the arms of everyone backstage. The support of the of other performers makes the JV Show full of so much more than just showcasing our talents. We become closer to others by supporting them.

This year I performed a duet with Claudia Gusman, and for seven days prior to the show I was sick and then terrified that I wouldn’t be able to sing. You may have seen me walking through the halls of Mason nursing a blue mug filled with tea that I had microwaved to speed on the getting-better process. We tailored the times we practiced to whether I felt good enough to sing. Come showtime, we both walked out on stage and sang our hearts out.

On the morning of the final day of the show, I walked into school not being able to breath through my nose, making my voice very nasally. Claudia immediately heard this and was scared for our performance. I reassured her that I would be better by that night no matter how many cups of tea it took.

I’m thankful for my mother’s persistence and the support of all the performers and the audience. The JV Show brought Claudia and I closer together as friends. We were “so good” and it was worth it.

Clare Doss
Clare Doss

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