So, of course, I brought my own flair or comedic genius to RDAP, the drug program I recently completed.
During our community meetings, which happened every day, there is an upbeat at the end. An upbeat is a performance of some sort, where you are supposed to get the community involved, work in treatment material, and set the tone or mood for the treatment day by uplifting the community.
As you can guess this is where I found my calling and I realized I probably should have been in drama or theatre in high school. Some of my best performances or upbeats were, The Love Connection, SuperDapper, Larry Bird, Jerry Springer 1 & 2, Noah Comes Home, Lip Sync Battles, and any karaoke performance. I had a great time and got lots of laughs. When I finished RDAP I was voted most likely to become internet famous, most likely to dance in a Beyonce video, and Drama King, just to name and few and I was recently told that when this last group finished a week ago, I was mentioned more than a few times for best upbeats.
For the Love Connection, I had none other than my buddy Alonzo, playing Cindy, who’s looking for that special someone.
The contestants were me, a recently released ex-con looking for love while being constrained to his mother’s house. The second contestant was Rob, a muscle-bound meathead, who is just trying to find someone more attractive than himself. The third contestant was Jon, a self-proclaimed ninja, who’s hobbies range from people watching to taking care of his many animals. SuperDapper had my buddy Scott and myself play super intense RDAP members that corrected behaviors in other members when participation was lacking. We had bells and whistle, shorts pulled up to our nipples, tight shirts, headbands, knee-high socks, and we walked around like the Bush Whackers from the WWF.
Jerry Springer 1 had myself asking for a DNA test for my 26-year-old son, I claimed I still loved him and only wanted to know if he was mine, and I was going to continue to be in his life regardless of the results. My love interest was played by a good friend of ours, who happens to also be the most openly gay man on the compound, and he played a very convincing Mrs. Bergland. In the end, the child was not mine, I was ecstatic that I didn’t have to take care of him anymore even though I said I would, and Mrs. Bergland was shocked why I thought it was mine in the first place as she drops the bombshell that she is, in fact, a man. In Jerry Springer 2 they bring back to hot couple the Berglands who apparently worked out their differences, as I forgave him for being a man, but were back for a second dose of drama.
This time, Mrs. Bergland was letting me know that she has been seeing Jesse James from the Suburbs and I was having none of it. This got heated and security quickly jumped in to let us know there will be no fighting. I responded, “Fighting, we are from the suburbs and we are going to settle this like men, with a dance-off!” I asked the DJ to queue the music and “Everyday I’m Hustling” came across the speakers and you saw everything from the moonwalk, dapping, twerking while being rained on with Monopoly money, the sprinkler, and very poorly constructed break dancing by yours truly. It was a blast and I don’t even remember how it ended to tell you the truth. My favorite Lip Sync battles included tracks like EndeverafteR’s “Road to Destruction,” Backstreet Boy’s “Everybody,” and Kelis’s “Milkshake.”
My best Karaoke performance was after I had finished and decided to come back and show the new recruits what an RDAP upbeat is supposed to look like and I brought “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake. I was JT money and my buddy Ben was Timbaland, and it was originally intended to be a lip-sync battle but I decided to memorize the lyrics and I sang it instead, seduced the whole crowd, and brought the house down.
The act that followed was lip-syncing a song by Migos and they never had a chance. I think I had guys coming up to me randomly on the compound and tell me how great the upbeat was, how I killed it, some would simply start singing the song and dancing, and one told me they think they needed to see something they could laugh at to lift their spirits as the previous weeks had been tough on them. Anything I can do to bring a smile to another’s face is worth my time and truly what I live for. As long as current RDAP participants keep asking me to come down and perform I will continue to participate in their treatment anyway I can.
Thanks for listening!