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Don’t forget to breathe.
“Oh crap, I feel like barfing,” I tell my friend and partner before we have to perform for forensics.
“My stomach doesn’t feel too good,” she tells me.
“Is it like what I felt before we presented for FBLA State?”
“Yeah, that’s what I feel like.”
“Fantastic. Well, at least it’s our last performance so let’s just kill it.” What was I saying? I was the most nervous wreck that could ever exist. I was shaking like a Chihuahua and I kept pointing it out. My hands wouldn’t stop moving and my breathing wouldn’t slow down. I was going through ever wrong scenario that could happen and had happened in the past. I remembered when our chairs got stuck together twice and when we had to stand on unstable stools instead of safe, trustworthy chairs. “What if we screw up?”
“We’ll just keep going or make something up,” a nervous laugh escapes my friend’s throat.
Performance time was at 7 p.m. and it was now 6:45 p.m. Just keep breathing because it’s almost time to put on a great show. I tried reassuring myself that everything would go on without a hitch. Then people started entering their rooms around us. Each group that was going to be in the same room as us was exchanging nervous glances. Our judge would have to get here soon. My friend and I tried taking deep breaths to calm our nerves as the performance time crept closer.
A woman struts down the hallway. Seeing as we were the last few people not in a room, she must be for us. Every group quiets down and stands up. 6:55 p.m. Time to enter our doom, or theater depending on how we looked at it.
“Here goes nothing I guess,” I tell my partner.
“Let’s just do our best. Remember it’s our last performance.”
Everyone sits down and the door to the room shuts. The room has an unsettled feeling as everyone chit chats to pass some time while the judge situates herself. Nervous giggles start to fill the room just as the judge does roll call. “Demon Child?”
“That’s us,” we reply simultaneously. Laughs follow the title of our scene. That’s a good sign. Then the rest of the pieces are called. And the first group, two girls, stand up once attendance was finished. They set up their scene with two chairs a little apart from the other. They stand in front of the judge and the rest of us. Once they give their introduction, they get into character. Their performance was good and during it, I realized my nerves were starting to disappear. Then, all of a sudden it seemed, our piece was called to perform. The nerves I thought had gone, reared their ugly faces again.
“I guess that’s us, huh?” I say. My friend nods and we set up our chairs for the scene. The chairs were set up back to back for our piece, awaiting the actresses that were about to plop down in them. We stand in front of the other five groups waiting for the judge to tell us to go whenever we’re ready. The judge looks up and nods, signaling “ready when you are.” I take a deep breath. My partner takes a deep breath and starts our introduction. I say the other half of it, and we both say the title “Demon Child.” We sit down, get into character, and “don’t forget to breath” reenters my head. Those four little words my forensics coach always told us rang in the back of my mind. She was there with us, giving us the strength to perform even if we were nervous as all get out. This performance was going to have our all in it. We mustered our strength and confidence. Then off we went with the beginning of our scene.
“Eddie, get back in here!”