My most memorable tight spot happened about 15 or so years ago was when I was telling the story of Chang Er for the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration at Singapore's National Arts Centre, The Esplanade. It was a story I knew well and I made the foolish mistake of taking my mind out of the story for a moment to anticipate a laugh that I knew I would get in a certain part that was coming up. My mind suddenly went completely blank and I could not for the life of me remember what happened next in the story. I panicked, but kept on talking; my mind churning out sentences to describe the landscape. I looked around for my fellow storyteller Kiran Shah, thinking that she could throw me a lifeline. But unfortunately she had chosen that moment to go for a toilet break. I tried hard to remember, but I couldn't, and in a state of great panic I made the ultimate get-out plan. If I didn't remember what came next soon, I would pretend to faint. That drastic plan saved me, because once I had made it , my body and mind were able to relax a little and into my mind popped the next bit of the story.
I learned a lot from this experience. One lesson was never to let your ego in when you are telling a story. Keep focused on the story and the audience. Another was that if you forget where you are going in a story you usually just need to relax and it will come back. Better than planning to faint, I later learnt a technique from the US storyteller Kendall Haven. He taught me that, if you forget you should look at your audience, smile and breathe slowly and deeply. By the time you have looked at the entire audience, smiling and breathing , you would have relaxed enough for the next part of the story to pop back into your mind.
Describe the most embaressing/nerve wrecking moment as a storyteller .