Balancing Act – By @nearsanctum182

By Leanne Spencer


Balancing Act


Yesterday at SCA was the first selection day for next year’s cohort. So, I sat where my predecessors sat before me, and watched the hopeful few, parade on stage for a chance to give Marc Lewis £18,000. 


Their presentations were all unique, as were the presenters, but after the last (metaphorical) curtain fell, they got a chance to ask us some FAQs. And despite The Dean’s prompting for “darker, grittier questions”, we barely skimmed the surface. 


Their tentative queries revolved around the possibility of a social life while indentured to SCA and what our worst days looked like so far. All the while, their eyes darted back and forth between the mentors and their captive audience. 


I figured out the problem…


Compliance (or group acceptance)
This occurs when an individual accepts influence because he hopes to achieve a favourable reaction from another person or group (Kelman, 1958, p. 53).

They were all guilty of this particular brand of conformity and honestly, so was I. When they asked what our worst days looked like, I prefaced my answer by remarking “I’m trying to pick one that won’t get me kicked out of the school.” 


They all laughed. 

It was a joke, after all…


Well, for the most part. 


In truth, watching them on that stage trying to find the right balance between refreshingly honest and innately entertaining, something clicked! 


Anyway, I wrote a poem about it. It’s called “Balancing Act” and you can find it below. 




Come one, come all 

Anticipate my fall;

See what a clever girl, I can be. 


No matter the breeze, 

or tremble of my knees,

I shall not be moved, easily.


Yes, I draw a crowd,

I’m used to that now,

but I have chosen the path for me. 

I was born for this strife,

I’ve trained all my life

My steps are pre-blessed, wait and see. 


Adding bricks now, one either side.

No entertainment value in too smooth a ride. 

But yet, despite these prolific tricks

The acrobat stays aloft…and the crowd grows sick. 


Should we shoot her down now?

Or wait until they riot?

Should we name her a martyr 

Or keep her grave quiet?


And on and on the whispers went, 

The words of demons, packaged: “heaven sent”

And all the while, among all the noise 

The performing child, grew natural poise. 


No longer a con, a trick, a plea.

A well-refined spine, I think you’ll all agree.


And suddenly, the fickle crowd

Settled their restless and again grew loud!

Now cheering and hooting and hollering with glee; 

this show had the potential to make real money. 


So Disney bought all the commercial rights,

And they aired the ads all day and night;


Come one come all

I dare to bet,

this won’t be a show you’ll soon forget!

See the beauty, but laugh and scoff

first a game,  now the same,

but she must stay aloft. 


From one once a rebel, we’ve made now a clown; 

I bet the price of entry, she shall not fall down!


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