For a second, let us all just admit to have succumbed at least once in our lives to the fear of standing infront of an unknown crowd, like a twisted barbed wire fence, the questions have no end. “What if….” becomes the motto for those 5-10 minutes behind the stage. While fighting an almost unprecedented war against our first encounter with an unknown audience, I believe even Steven Speilberg must’ve thought about it once while making ET. Poor aliens!
Our fear of the stage is the main reason behind those sweaty palms and mumbling lips, those last minute quick rehearsals.
The mind acts like a compiler which is running on an infinite loop. The nature of this fear is quite peculiar, as it spreads like wild fire among the fresh folks or “rookies” as my seniors back in school used to say. I remember my first stage performance, those cherished memories always find a way to bring that childish smile. I wasn’t alone though but the thought of singing a nursery rhyme back in LKG infront of a crowd brought chills to my spine. Alongside my scared inner conscience, were my classmates, all dressed according to the theme. “Raindrops”!
We all began singing that 8 line rhyme while our eyes were busy searching for our parents. Yes, video cameras and DSLRs were a distant dream back then. Finally my eyes tracked my father who was smiling at my attire. A bright red raincoat. Those innocent lines ended up with a thunderous applause, my father was clapping as hard as he could. It was stage fright that taught me the real meaning of facing the crowd. Years passed, I travelled a great journey from doing a vegetable skit to a miserable ragpicker who was subjected to curses and thrashings by his master, to interschool debates, mashing up songs and giving them a facelift by adding a zest of beatboxing, and all the way back to rhymes. The only difference was the rhyming scheme, useage of words and a karaoke with Eminem’s Forever playing in the background. The stage with a lone mic standing and braving the spotlight never changed, it was stage fright that helped me in finding the rhapsody who was lurking under the skin. Back then I was accompanied by my classmates, now I hold the mic all by myself, rapping the feelings out of my lungs. “The only thing we have to fear is the fear itself”, guess what! “Fear is what gives men wings”, so next time when you’re about to step on the stage be it any event, just remember one thing.
“IT MIGHT BE YOUR FIRST APPEARANCE BUT YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU’RE GONNA HAVE YOUR LAST ONE.”
Stage fright educates the adrenaline rush, making your blood warmer and warmer because All the world’s a stage, but this is your show.