Tag Archives: stage fright

Loneliness

I once read that the terror of stage fright doesn’t go away with practice. You just get very comfortable with being terrified. Butterflies, sweaty palms, all of it. Practice makes you able to function despite fear.

Loneliness is like that.

Move away for the first time and live alone. Wake up alone. Go to sleep alone. Experience chronic loneliness like never before. And you do get used to it. Eventually you don’t notice it so much. You function despite it. Until, one day, you find your way home, and that’s when you realize how you’ve been aching all along.

Lonely becomes normal. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

“The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

Advertisements

Stage Fright

It takes a long time
to get fear out of your veins
and put yourself out there
and be alive

For those who like hiding
and are afraid to be seen
before they get comfortable
up on stage, on their own

But once you find
that the trembling’s subsided
even just a little
you get a taste of joy

And once you’ve adapted
you don’t let go
You remember the stage
and forget the fright

When it’s your turn to speak
Your heart doesn’t jump
Your breath comes even
Your heart’s almost normal

It’ll always be
a little bit fluttery
but that’s
the thrill
of the stage.

Song of Hope

Late afternoon sun lights up the end of the long hallway. It’s quiet and still. I’m here alone, sitting on a convenient chair just outside the closed door. I’m waiting for it to open.

I know the drill. Somebody’s in there right now, another homeschool highschooler, presenting their interp to the row of judges. I would love to watch, but I never watch right before I give my own speech. I need time to focus. Rehearse the lines silently in my head. After that, just wait.

The nerves start to play with you when you’re waiting for the door to open, but that’s nothing new. You find ways of calming yourself, and though you always stay a little afraid, the thrill of performing soon overcomes the butterflies.

I have space in this hallway, in this Korean church and school in New Jersey, to settle down and mentally prepare for my speech. The diffuse glow on the linoleum floors is soft and pleasant. Once again, I feel the nerves tie my stomach in knots.

Go away, I tell them. I shift in the kid’s chair. Still nervous. Quietly, I begin to sing to myself, sing the nerves away.

It’s Song of Hope, and it’s one of my tournament theme songs. At least, it became my theme song that day. It’s a song that makes you feel small, in a good way. It made speech room stage fright up and disappear when I needed it to.

Typically fear follows me into the competition room and remains for the first few seconds of performance until I find my groove and stay there. Not this time. This time when the door opens I’m ready, standing with an easy smile.

I enter and walk to the center of the room. The judges are finishing writing down their thoughts from the previous performance. I hold up my name tag where they can easily see.

“My name is Kira Gregory. Are the judges ready?” They nod. “The timer?” Yup. “Let’s begin.”