I had a recital today at a local music school. I showed up early and ran through the my selections a few times. I was playing from memory and was scared I'd draw a blank when it came down to it (I didn't, as it turns out).
A few months ago, I sang a few pieces at a rehearsal, where I stood out as the only performer (save for one rather adorable 80 year old Japanese who sang Mona Lisa) over age 16. The piano recital was different: there, I was the only person under 60.
I was too timid to volunteer to go first, but I put up my hand for second. But an old man sitting next to me was more eager, and he beat me to it. So he went up and sat down and started playing a long, challenging Debussy piece. About halfway through he got lost and had to bring out the sheet music, and even then struggled visibly. It was uncomfortable to watch. Eventually he made it to the end.
We all clapped, and he smiled, and then fainted. His forehead smashed into the keyboard with a dull whack and a sharp tone cluster. We all ran up and pulled him back into a seated position while someone called 9-1-1. The man was breathing incredibly deeply, almost to the point of snoring. We called his name and he didn't respond. The bridge of his glasses had struck the piano and left a deep cut across his nose. Someone offered a tissue.
After five minutes or so, he stopped snoring, blinked, looked around and asked what happened. We told him he'd fainted. He said that had never happened before.
He insisted he was fine (he was a medical doctor by profession), and walked back to his chair in the audience, over our objections. He applied pressure to the cut on his nose with a paper towel that covered his eyes, and said, leaning back, "Somebody please, play something."
Everyone looked at each other. The paramedics showed up later and vetted the guy for an hour, then pronounced he was fine and didn't have to go to the ER.
"Scott, would you like to play next?" my piano professor asked.
"I guess, but man, that's going to be tough to top."