If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years from singing at open mics is that I ABSOLUTELY dread performing in front of a crowd. I feel like I’m having a seizure throughout the whole performance, I know that because I can literally see my hands shaking and I don’t know how to stop them. Cute guys sitting in the audience just makes it worse, ugh.
I am one step away from WebMDing “stage fright caused seizures”. But then I am reminded of this Kelly Clarkson song What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger, and so I decided as long as open mics don’t kill me I’ll keep doing them. As counterintuitive as it sounds, I enjoy being a living contradiction between my feelings and actions. It’s an acquired taste really, you should try it sometime, or not, up to you, I definitely recommend it.
I grew up being the shyest person in the room whether I’m at home or at school. As a child, I would hide behind my mom’s skirt whenever she tries to introduce me, I feared everyone, even kids who were younger than me (fyi babies are terrifying). But now that I’ve outgrown my skirt hiding days (thank you puberty, not), I’ve struggled to find grown-up ways to hide. Turns out growing up means you can’t hide anymore (whattttt). Again, whattttt?
There’s no better or easier way to grow up, you just do. For me, I knew I had to face my fears somehow. With the help of music and an amazing support team, a.k.a strangers at open mics who say the nicest things even when you screw up a song by forgetting most of the lyrics and occasionally singing off-key, I became a frequent flyer to places that held open mics even though I hate flying (wishing that was a metaphor). The more I went on the stage the more I felt comfortable expressing myself to other people. Singing at open mics made me an introvert with extrovert tendencies, it gave me the courage to share what brings me joy and now I can’t imagine my life without it.
Bob Marley once said: “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” I’m not sure if I’ll ever be completely calm without nerves singing at open mics, but I do know one thing, when I start singing, every ounce of that stress and uneasiness I felt before fades away. So, word, Bob Marley, just WORD.
To show you how I’ve overcome my fears (but still freak out completely at open mics), this here is snippets of my performance at the Hart House Open Mic last Thursday. Also, if you’re like me and has the serious case of stage fright, join me next time at an open mic happening on campus or even better invite me and I’ll show up with pom-poms to cheer you on! Getting over your fears is really just THAT simple, and always keep in mind: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger 🙂
So……What freaks YOU out?
Leave me a comment below so we can overcome these fears together, unless it’s about spiders then I’m out,’ sorry (lol).