The Unforgettable Performance

October 22, 2017
By , Cupertino, CA

“Oh god. I wish I was in my bed, under the covers, away from these people.” I thought as I stared at the frozen audience. All of their eyes were fixed on me as if I were a spider they were ready to kill.

   

A memorable moment that will always bring different emotions will be the time I embarrassed myself on stage. To me, this story’s emotions resemble candy flavors, such as sweet, bitter, and the tingly flavor that reminds me of nervousness. I hope that this experience will teach me and others many important things, and that this mistake I made would serve as hope for other smaller mistakes that could not possibly go more wrong that this mistake did.

   

I was in a little hot, stuffy room that was considered as the backstage, sitting on a piano chair nervously. I drummed my fingers on the table silently to the rhythm of the piano recital song one last time before I went up to play on stage. My hands were sweaty,  partially from the heat, and my stomach, full of fluttering butterflies, was churning from nervousness. This was my second time performing in this annual recital, but the six year old me was still shaking with nervousness from the thought of messing up on stage.

   

“Something will go wrong,” I told myself, as I was a doubtful and pessimistic person back then when I was a little six year old, “Something will go very wrong this time.” It was already nearly impossible to win any place this year, with so many competitors against me, but I was trying hard to hide that fact from my brain, for fear it would make me even more nervous than I already was. I finished my drumming on the table, and I blew my long, shoulder-length hair out of my face, hoping that this performance would go fine. The door creaked open, signaling me that the person before me was finished with his performance, and I stood up, still pondering about the unhappy thoughts. I walked on stage with my shiny shoes clattering against the hard wooden floor, bowed, and started performing my piece. Everything went fine, and I felt so excited that I had not messed up so far, until almost the end of the three paged piece.

   

My fingers crashed down onto the smooth keys of the piano, playing the chords as loudly as I could, as this was the climax of the piece. It was then, I played the wrong notes. Just as I was nearing the end of the long series of harmony chords, a loud, ear-piercing sound came from the piano, projected in the hall, and I sat on the piano chair frozen, getting caught off from the terrible mistake I had made. Instead of backing up and continuing, I started to panic, and I could almost feel my heart jumping in my chest, and so I tried continuously in vain to find the right notes as quietly as I could on stage while distracted from the mistake. My mom had been trying to teach me my whole life what to do if I make a mistake, but those mini lessons, along with the useful strategies she had given me,  immediately evaporated out of my panicked brain, just as I was trying to recall it, leaving me clueless and not knowing what to do. When I gave up, which was not very long after, I turned toward the audience and said something I really regret saying.

   

“Oops,” said my little whisper in the hall. Apparently, I later learned that since the hall echoed quite loudly, my little “oops” was not as soft as I had expected it to be. The audience stared at me with blank eyes, waiting to see what I would do next. However, the worst had not come yet. A small child, about the age of four, started yelling at me, rudely, right with an audience still staring at me, which ended up humiliating me even more.

 

“This lady messed up! She is the worst and will never win first, second, or third place, or whatever place, EVER!” It was probably the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I already felt bad about messing up, and now someone was making fun of me. Eventually, I temporarily paused my anger and frustration, and I somehow miraculously caught back on to the song at the end, finished the song as if nothing had happened, and walked off the stage very embarrassed and angry at myself for making the worst mistake I could have possibly made.

 

Now, many years later, I still remember those sweet times that I could now laugh about, yet deep, deep inside me, I feel bitterness, and I regret greatly about making that mistake. Nowadays, I am more experienced and am not as nervous as I used to be, and I have learned to be more optimistic on the results of the performances, and I hope that this experience has taught me to ignore mistakes until after the performances, and that each performance would continue improving more and more each time.






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