The Art of Performing
Photo by imagerymajestic
Something I have been trying to work on, as I’ve told you, is opening up and becoming more active. This includes a lot of different elements. One thing that I am vigorously working on is performing.
When I was younger, I performed all the time considering I had a music teacher for a mother. My performances consisted of singing in a choir/solo, playing the flute/piccolo in orchestra and playing the baritone saxophone in jazz band. These were happy times for me because I loved playing music.
In the 12th grade my English teacher became two dials short of being obsessed with my writing. He realized I liked to write poetry but never shared it with anyone. This was because my poems were very private and sacred to me. They showed a side of my life that most people knew nothing about. My teacher was always hard on me and pushed me to do what he thought was “best” for my writing.
One day, my English teacher put together an assembly and asked anyone who would like to share their written work, such as essays, poems and short stories, to perform. I didn’t want to do it even though extra credit was being offered to those who read. I avoided my teacher as long as I could but he eventually convinced me that this was best for my writing being as he knew I wanted to be a writer.
When I stepped up in front of an entire auditorium full of my peers, my heart was in my throat. I wasn’t very popular and I was afraid that sharing these poems would backfire and cause me more damage in my high school existence. But with a nod of confidence from my teacher I proceeded to read two poems, one about life and one about a classmate who had been killed.
Through the entire performance I was called names under breath. Kids laughed and pointed when the teachers weren’t looking and many remarks that I will never forget were made. The experience traumatized me greatly. From then until now I have not stepped foot on stage to perform, not only music, but my poetry as well.
I have received many offers to perform my poetry and I usually make up an excuse. Those who know me and have tried to get me to perform, I just let them know how scared I am to stand on stage. My fear is so huge that even mentioning performing sends me into a near anxiety attack.
That one instance back in high school still petrifies me. Not because the kids were mean or rude (they were like that all the time). The incident put fear in my heart because it was the first time I shared my poems, which as I stated before was sacred to me and showed a side no one knew about. I couldn’t bear if the same thing happened again – pour my poetry out and get a rude response.
Lately, however, I have been trying to prepare for that moment when I step out onto a stage for the first time in over 10 years. The thought still makes my heart race but I am becoming more accepting. I’ve been taking the initiative to practice so that I can finally verbally share the verses that I work so hard on.
I’m not quite there yet, but in the near future (hopefully the next 2 weeks) I will, for the first time in 10 years, walk out onto a stage and show the audience just who Trina Lynne is.