Last night, I finished the fourth (and last) large-scale production of this summer.
About two weeks prior to the first performance, the idea of being on a stage where tons of people could actually see me was… well, horrifying. At that time, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to get through four performances, all of them in front of big crowds.
For the entire pre-concert week, the rest of the students and I were in intense rehearsal. In that time period, the thought that we were going to be on stage soon didn’t cross my mind. I had other things to worry about, like putting the polishing touches on my pieces and making sure everyone was fully synchronized with every song.
I barely blinked, and Performance Day was there.
All morning, my heart was beating, my palms were sweating, my mind was racing because it was Performance Day. There was a subconscious countdown going on in my head. Eight hours until Stage Time, seven hours until Stage Time, six hours and fourteen minutes until Stage Time…
And then the sand in the hourglass ran out, and I was standing behind the backstage curtains as the audience settled in their seats.
The front curtains were closed and we were all instructed to go take our places on the risers. I was in a mild panic on the way up, but as soon as I sat on that three-foot tall riser, everything seemed to fall into place. My hands were itching to move, my mind was alert. Sitting on that stage, it all made sense.
I blinked again, and it was over.
After that, I blinked three more times… and I had traveled to three more cities in India, played shows there, come back to California, and played another show here.
After that first performance, any stage fright I had was gone. I started getting comfortable with the idea of being on stage, and I actually had a lot of fun; rather than being afraid I would mess up, I enjoyed playing the music and really getting into it. My confidence increased, and I started looking forward to my parts instead of feeling nervous about them.
My perspective on life in general has similarly changed- I want to be able to dive into whatever I’m doing and just have fun, not worry about everything that could go wrong. Everything goes by so fast that it’s really just best to enjoy the moment. Sometimes it’s a little difficult for me to do that because I tend to worry a lot, but I’ll get there.