Some people reading this blog won't have met me. For all you know, I'm some Pringle-guzzling keyboard warrior vomiting words at the internet from a mouldy basement, Family Guy t-shirt slowly rotting from my own sweat.
However, some of you may have seen me in real life, namely on stages around Manchester either performing my own material or compering other people. Prancing around on stage is something I have come to love more and more.
Although I had dabbled previously, performance isn't something I've always done. In fact, it's nearly nine years since I started reading material on stages in earnest, as evidenced by this tweet.
The @BadLanguageMcr anthology launch was packed. I hope @thecastlehotel do it again. Oh and my first ever short story reading went well.— Fat Roland (@FatRoland) November 24, 2010
So it's not something that comes naturally: I have spent two-thirds of my adult life quite specifically prancing around on anything other than stages,
My confidence in the spotlight is something I have learned. It comes from observing other performers, both proficient and terrible, from testing the boundaries of what I can do, and from setting myself loads of challenges and rules to become better at what I do.
Yes, rules. I've had loads of them, from how to cope with nerves, how to handle a microphone, and what works best for certain audiences. I made rules, I perfected them, I broke them and now a tonne of that has become muscle memory, making performance feel easier than before.
On November 23rd, I will reveal some tips and tricks on how to be a better performer for LitMacc in 'Performing Flash Fiction with Fat Roland'. The two-hour Saturday afternoon workshop focuses on performing flash fiction (i.e. very short stories), but it'll be a useful workshop for beginners and just-past-beginners on how to be stronger on stage in any context.
Even better, the tickets are really cheap. If you're within a train-jaunt of Macclesfield later this month, do come - tickets here.
Now do excuse me. I need to finish these Pringles because the sweat chemicals on my t-shirt are turning Quagmire's hilarious quote into something quite illegible. *guzzle guzzle guzzle*
Photo: Mark Croasdale
Further Fats: Not much coming up (lie) (2015)
Further Fats: This is what happened on stage tonight (2017)