Be Brave, Just Sing

Be Brave, Just Sing by Quinn Gallagher, Grade 4, Ms. Csatari's class

¨Welcome to the new play, The Aliens, and here is Quinn Gallagher with his new performance!¨

¨Oh, sorry I'm late. I don't have a rap. I have a personal narrative, though."

¨The floor is yours.¨

Don't get me wrong, I've performed in front of big audiences before. I had already been in five plays in my current after school program, and one other play with my old drama group. I was ready to act, and I had been becoming even more ready for the last five months. But I was about to do something I had never done before: rap in front of a large crowd. I had rapped in front of my theater ensemble twice already, but this wasn't the same. In fact, this was extremely different. I was performing in front of my theater group, in addition to everyone in the after school program, as well as the parents.

If I made a single mistake, I would be nothing less than humiliated at Cranbury School and among all of my peers. Regardless, I decided to give it a shot. Acting on stage was nothing new to me. That wasn't my biggest worry. I had other thoughts in my head, all about the rap I had to perform. Would I remember my lines? Would I be humiliated? Would all the credit fall right in front of my friend who wrote the beat, just like the last time I had to rap? Is there any way I can come out of this with any self-confidence or respect left? It was doubtful.

That day, I entered the building, drowned head to toe in fear. We had a quick rehearsal, then I went off to get ready for my performance. Luckily, the other play went before us, so I could watch them first. Being the big finale was a HUGE responsibility. If I was a flunky, like I said, it would be remembered, and definitely for the worse.

Soon, it was time to perform our play. We performed, and fortunately, we did well. I was dreading the last line of the script to be said.

I could find no confidence at all. I knew I wouldn't get any during my rap. Suddenly, I did it. I just rapped.

After the rap, I felt absolutely like a flop. I felt like nothing could get better from there. But other people disagreed. They thought I was great. I didn't believe them, but they were probably telling the truth. I don't always believe in myself enough, and I'm very hard on myself. And that might really be my worst mistake.

The lesson I feel like everyone should learn is simple: Even if the quality of my rap was off, people appreciated the bravery. Always be brave, or you will fill with regret. Doing one small thing could change your life forever.

¨What about the rap, though?¨