Overcoming stage fright and following dreams

It's easy as one, two, three!

Claire Lawrence, Staff Reporter

I have performed on stage for as long as I can remember. Whether it was for a school play or a Friday night karaoke party, the spotlight shines on me no matter what. It has always been a dream of mine to one day share my talent with the world. The problem was making myself get up on the stage to start my performance. It has always been a struggle.

When I first got into the performing arts, I would sing my favorite songs in my moms living room with her and our dog as my only audience members. Easy right? But even then, I would always give myself a mini pep talk to just do it. When I got to middle school, I switched over to theatre arts, and spent all three years performing musicals and plays in front of many many strangers. Being able to go on stage and act out as a character seemed to be a lot easier than singing in a living room. 

Finally, I had made it to high school where I still take part in the theatre program and put in as much time on stage and off stage as possible. Theatre has always been easy for me, performing on stage not a problem, but recently, I realized that it’s not that easy under every circumstance. 

Just the other day, I was faced with my biggest fear ever. Performing as a solo artist in front of the school.

Now, I’m not sure how Taylor Swift and Beyonce can pull this off all the time, because it is absolutely nerve racking. I spent weeks and weeks practicing and perfecting a set to perform at this years Relay for Life event, to then go up on stage and almost completely freeze.

Although it may not have seemed like it, I was completely losing it on the inside. Red buzzers were going off, danger signs were flashing, and my brain almost (almost) short circuited. Beforehand, the feeling of excitement and nervousness coursed through my veins, and afterwards, adrenaline rushed through my body, but for some reason, stepping onto that stage in front of all my family, friends, and other classmates, made me freak out.

Thankfully, before I could panic even more about unnecessary things like “will others like my song choices” or “what if my voice cracks” or “will the mic suddenly stop working”, I stood up straight and proud, and sang out my first note. Flawlessly, of course. Then, I didn’t know it, for I was too busy worrying about hitting the right chords, once the set was over and everyone congratulated me, I felt like I was on cloud 9. The amount of love and support I received after stepping off stage made everything worth it. 

Obviously performing in front of my mom at 8 years old in the living room versus playing a gig at the school stadium definitely has some major differences. The one thing that is still the same, is the small voice in my head cheering me on. So, even if I have to continue giving myself a pep talk before every performance, I know that my stage fright will never stop me from following my dream and doing what I love.