The fear, anxiety or persistent phobia of performing in front of an audience. Hasn't everyone experienced stage fright at one time or another?
Sis Beth always looked perfectly at ease in front of an audience. If she was nervous, I never saw it. Sis Barb? Cool as a cucumber. Me? A nervous wreck. When I was in high school, every year I would perform a vocal solo at a State contest. This contest was held at a college in Indianapolis that had old wood flooring. I would tend to tap my hand at my side while I sang and a friend suggested that I should lightly hold my dress in my hands to keep me from tapping. So I did. Since I could no longer channel my nervousness through my hand, it traveled down my body into my legs causing them to shake uncontrollably. So while I was singing for the judges, instead of them seeing me tapping my hand, they now could hear the clicking of my heels on the wooden floor throughout my entire performance. The more I tried to stop shaking, the harder I shook and the louder it got. I should have just tapped my hand.
Even though I performed on a stage five and six nights a week for 20 something years, I would still quite often, get stage fright. Remember how I said Barb is cool as a cucumber....
I was approached to sing at a wedding for a co-worker and I graciously declined saying that I tend to get very nervous singing at weddings. They persisted so I came up with the bright idea that I would ask Barb to sing with me and hopefully that would calm my nerves. The song was a capella (just our voices without music) and we practiced and practiced and I felt really good about it. We sounded great and I was pretty confident that it would come off without a hitch. Just to make sure I had my nerves under control, I got one of those little bottles of wine, like the ones you get on an airplane, and drank it in the car just before we entered the church.
We passed several of my co-workers on our way to the front pew of the church. These people had heard me sing numerous times and they were all excited that I would be singing on this day. So Barb and I are sitting there with the piano and organ directly in front of us. The piano and organ were back to back and the pianist was sitting at the piano playing softly while everyone was being seated. I was feeling pretty good right about now, the wine had kicked in and I was certain everything would be okay.
The preacher walked in and signaled to the pianist that they were ready and so she stood up from the piano bench and began to make her way around to the organ to play the Bridal March. As she rounded the piano, she tripped. Not just a little trip though. Like, almost fell to the ground trip. Now some people might be concerned and want to ask her if she was okay. Not Barb. She finds this sort of thing funny. More than funny... she finds it hilarious. She busted out laughing and I was slapping her leg begging her to stop and she was trying to hold it in which caused her entire upper body to start convulsing and I just knew that everyone in the entire church had their eyes on us now.
So much for feeling in control.
Now I was shaking and sweating and when it came time to sing, I was horrible. Think Stevie Nicks marries a billy goat and they have a kid (no pun intended) and that kid is me and I'm trying to sing while standing on top of a huge vibrating machine. Not pretty.
When it came to Barb's part of course she sounded beautiful. After the ceremony, my friends/co-workers kept saying things to me like "Wow, what happened to your voice? Why did your voice sound so shaky?" I was mortified, but oh well... It is one of the best memories I have of performing. I can always count on Barb for a good time. Sometime I'll have to tell you the story of how Beth gave me a fat lip on stage.
The stage fright is upon me once more as I get ready to post my first-ever blog. I worry that it is too long, or not funny, or worse yet, just plain not interesting. So to try and calm my nerves I am asking yet another one of my beautiful sisters, Sis Brandy, and her crazy daughter Sydney to read it for me and make sure that it's worthy of posting.
As for you, you should all write and tell us if you’re calm and cool like my sisters, or a nervous wreck like me. Please have a beautiful and inspiring day!!!!!!
Bonus time! Beth is giving away three signed copies of her books (your choice of title) today. All you have to do is comment to this post. Winners chosen at random. One book per winner. You can view your choices by clicking here.
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