Friday, November 6, 2009

On Stage Fright

For the last few days I have been a shaky, focused, heart-palpitate-y mess of a woman, singing "Redneck Woman" into every mirror I pass, air-mic in hand.

Yes, I am a performer by trade: it's one of the trinity of activities that puts food in my stomach and a rented roof over my head, but that's something completely different: performance for me entails sitting at a piano, telling stories through song and baring a bit of myself, something I have become more comfortable with through the years.

Tonight will be about bravado, about a nervous sort of tipsy karaoke showmanship that I find so far outside my comfort zone that it's dizzying!

This evening's performance will last less than two minutes and yet it has consumed me, as I knew it would. In fact, I was counting on this, banking on it in a way I cannot describe very well, except to say that in the overcoming lies the joy.

I think we all have a comfy box we live in by whose dimensions, texture and temperature we define our lives. When we do anything to push one side out or put a skylight in our previously demure and quiet comfort zone becomes a vocal fear factory, convincing us via logical thoughts that our worst nightmares may very well come true if we are so foolish to poke at the tear we've made above our heads.

"The sky will come crashing IN to this box - do you want that?"

"They're all going to laugh at you - you will fail!!"

"Since when do you think you'll be any good at this, huh?"

"You'll die!!!"

The creative license our comfort zone (or ego to some) takes in formulating these ideas is actual quite amazing and inspiring - it just reaches inward instead of out and because of that it is stultifying and deadly.

It breeds boredom, 'shoulda-woulda-coulda'-ing and regretful sighs.

From the very beginning of my decision to call in to Froggy 92.9 I knew that the nervous energy I'd experience would make me feel really halved, really challenged, but I knew I had to exercise this muscle in order to absolutely make that skylight a reality.
 Because this scares me I know I must allow myself to rise to its challenge

even if the sky falls in

even if I botch the words and fall over in my cowboy boots

even if I don't sound good

even if I die

because to turn back now
would mean that something that wants me to shrink away from vibrant, terrifying 
would win
and I would be one inch shorter than I was yesterday.


::mari:: said...

When you get nervous, remember this:






Go get 'em, killer.


angie said...

i'm hearing "they're all gonna laugh at you!" in carrie's mom's voice (from the movie). just hope THAT doesn't happen!! ;) you'll be fine!! and you'll feel SO GOOD when you're done, because you did it! :)

susie said...

You are braver than you know. Break a leg!

tmbarclay said...

Oh Allison, if anyone can do it, it's you!!!! You have such an inner strength and wisdom that nothing can nullify your momentum. By writing the statement "because to turn back now would mean that something that wants me to shrink away from vibrant, terrifying life would win and I would be one inch shorter than I was yesterday" proves that you have the personal fiber all humans crave. In this event you will make yourself proud, you will make your family proud, and you will make all your fans/blog followers/friends proud!!!! Good luck, and I'll be thinking about you :)

Anonymous said...

Everything you wrote is true. And I add: You WILL be great. You WON'T forget the words. And you will be so happy and proud of yourself for taking this chance and being brave.

jordan said...

you're gonna kick ass lady. you're infinitely more amazing than you probably realise, and if anyone doesn't see that, they weren't worth the trouble.

dailycoyote said...


I just got home from a similar experience - a huge event in a strange place... I had to leave my little town, go stand in front of tons of people and talk and I was DREADING it for a week and.......I had the BEST time! More enriching and beautiful and full of heart than I thought possible! (I wore your ring the whole time) Hope some of the high I'm still on floats your way to soothe your nerves right before you go on.
xo S.

reconstructing sarah said...

you have nothing to fear, my dear. show 'em what you're made of!

ps. my word verification is "strong"...

pss. ok, that's a's actually "uncize" which is totally irrelevant?...but i wanted you to know tonight is on YOUR side :)

Sunny Rising Leather said...

Ladies : I love you.

You give me strength and courage :)


Taddyporter said...


okay I have to admit I had never heard that song until just a few minutes ago(had to see what you were up for)and I have to say, you are waaaaaaaaaay bettah (sorry Gretch if you read Sunny's blog but the truth be told)and you are gonna kick some arse up on that stage(pep talk time)with all your gorgeousness and Sunny goodness and for pete's sake you have got plenty of theatre experience so girl, you shake it like you mean it!!!!

and of course we will need a full report. love to you sweetchicka.

Michaela Dawn said...

Humm, this was a read needed for me...

Thank you lady,

I'm sending my prayers and wishes to you for the most spectacular two minute magic from you out to the world!

sensitiveartist said...

very well said. living outside your box can be terrifying. cheers to you for breaking out. I have a feeling you'll do great though. good luck.

Kiki said...

You can do it!!!

emmy d said...

I too needed to hear this...

Thank you.

I'm happy so far you seem to be doing just as splendidly as you possibly can!