It's an hour until showtime. We've been struggling with synchronized bowing for the last half hour or so. There's a V formation we have to make, but it relies on our dear departed former arts editor Jamie Laughlin, the last speaker of the evening, depositing a stool backstage and running, in her delightful boots, past me so that I can go out last. As the tallest, I must form the point of the V. It's a struggle. I don't know when to bow automatically. I rarely bow in everyday life. Never with other people around.
We're on stage in Hamon Hall, off to the side of the big ol' Winspear Opera House, and seven brave Texas residents are braved to deliver personal talks for Oral Fixations, the local real-life storytelling series. Having built this program from the ground up, director Nicole Stewart is selling out every night of the run.
When we finally all have mastered bending over, we retreat to the Green Room, where we can watch the crowd shuffle in on a wall-mounted TV. A sell-out of some 250, the room quickly fills up. Jamie, who is not a fan of public speaking to put it mildly, is shaking while trying to apply make-up.