The Woes of a Performer

November 16, 2009
By Klutzygirl2435 BRONZE, Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Klutzygirl2435 BRONZE, Cottage Grove, Minnesota
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

As I stared at the clock for what seemed like hours, the minute hand progressed as slowly as a snail. I knew that the reason time crawled on slowly forever was that I was tremendously and exceedingly nervous. I was a great deal more nervous than I had ever been in my entire life. My hands shook uncontrollably and I stammered like an idiot when I tried to form a sentence. Of course, I did realize I was one of the fortunate ones: I was only one of six people permitted to sing my Solo and Ensemble song in the upcoming concert, but I just wanted to get it over with it I was so terrified. Every student in my choir class had been designated a song to perform in front of an adjudicator. The adjudicator evaluated or performances; the six people with the highest score had the opportunity to perform in the concert, and I was one of the performers. I sat worriedly in the uncomfortable metal bleachers, waiting for it to be my turn in front of the colossal, daunting crowd.
For what seemed like the millionth time that evening, I glanced down at the crinkled program that I had found resting on the ground nearby. Below the dusty shoeprint left by some inconsiderate student, was my name along with the song I would be performing. Only a few more songs to go, I chanted repeatedly in my mind, fruitlessly attempting to ease my pounding heart from thumping loudly in my chest. Thump, thump, thump it pounded, slamming against my ribcage. “Run away!” It commanded, screaming at me. “You cannot possibly make it out of here alive!” My palms were sweaty, and the program slithered out of my trembling fingers. I allowed it to plummet gently to the ground, because I knew it was my turn to go take a seat in one of the three straight-backed, plastic and metal chairs by the risers. When I did take my seat, the audience would recognize that I would be performing soon.
The roar of the crowd applauding to previous choir overflowed my ears as I marched unwillingly down from the bleachers, stumbling over my high heels as I did. My mouth warped into a terrible glower as I felt my ankle twist painfully. I bowed down to stroke it and to diminish the tenderness; the last thing I desired today was a limp. I walked it off and proceeded to sit down in the middle chair of the three seats besides the risers. As I took my seat, I noticed that is was burning up from the body heat triggered by tense students performing in the choirs. The heat took over my whole body like a fever when you’re extremely ill. This new disconcerting and sweltering heat was definitely the opposite to the cool metal of the bleachers. The new atmospheric adjustment made it very tricky to inhale and exhale in a calm, professional manner: my lungs were being stubborn and were not assisting me very much in my mission to breathe peacefully. Dizziness began to obstruct my vision, making it hazy and vague. If I didn’t reduce my heart rate before I ventured up to the microphone, I’d unquestionably faint. The embarrassment of that would be too much to bear; there were at least three hundred guests out in the audience. Abruptly and much sooner than I thought it would be, it was my time to shine.
I walked slowly up to the microphone, putting one foot in front of the other to assure my balance and poise. Blood rushed up to my face in a torrent, causing my cheeks and ears to burst into flame. The only sound I could hear now was the blood pulsing deafeningly in my ears. I realized then that I want breathing, so I quickly sucked in a ragged breath, relieving my screaming lungs. My choir director smiled at me in a comforting and calming way, as if to say, “You CAN do this. Take a deep breath and you’ll be just fine.” I smiled warily and nervously back at her, and she began to play the introduction to my song on a wooden upright piano beside me. I placed my hands lightly on the microphone, and pretended the audience wasn’t even there. I stared to sing my first notes, and they came out uncertain and off pitch. I almost went into panic mode, but a reassuring look from my choir director stopped me. Consequently, as I continued on, the notes became increasingly accurate. As the song progressed, the notes and words poured from my lips with such precision and astonishing sound that I was startled that it was my own voice! I smiled as I sang, remembering to enunciate clearly and look exited, things you must do when performing, or else the audience grows bored to tears. As I sang the final note of my song, a wave of satisfaction, joy, and astounding relief washed through me. The audience ruptured into a rousing applause, and I gazed into the crowd, seeing my family in the first row beaming and clapping with such enthusiasm it didn’t seem like reality. I grinned widely to the crowd, feeling on top of the world and very nearly skipped back to the bleachers, tremendously jovial that I did so delightfully.
Although I was petrified, anxious, and just plain not wanting to perform, I got up to the microphone anyway, demonstrating that tackling your fears is definitely worth it in the end. If I would have backed out and cancelled my performance, I would have regretted it dreadfully in the future. What I realized from this experience is that if you have the opportunity to do something amazing, don’t run and hide like a small, frightened animal in a thunderstorm. Do the opposite of that and be as outstanding as you can be. Benefit from it while it lasts, because you may never have a chance like that again. Take risks so you are more likely to have no regrets. That is what I did in this situation, and my Solo and Ensemble performance is something that I’ll keep in my mind everlastingly.

The author's comments:
I had published the same story earlier with many grammatical mistakes, but thankfully I went back and submitted this new correct one. Read this one instead of the other!

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