Word of Mouth Mission:WOM aims to both support and highlight local wordsmiths and nourish and inspire the audience by way of rediscovering the power of words through various creative forms of self-expression.
As a spoken word artist, to say that I get nervous before performances would be a fairly large understatement – it would be like saying that a bear is basically the same sort of animal in disposition and behavior as a large dog.
I put value in telling people that I get super nervous before performances, as people who see me do spoken word often tell me that they never would’ve guessed that I was nervous. I think it’s important to help dispel the common notion that just because I’m good at what I do and just because I’m up there on stage doing it, equates to me feeling super chill about it. I do not feel super chill about it. Every time I gear up for a spoken word performance I literally say to myself: Whose idea was this?!
Here’s something I penned this morning in my journal:
Stage fright is real –
maybe as real as it gets.
and operates outside of cognitive processing.
I can’t reason with it.
I can’t sit it down and have an
intelligent conversation that will
result in dispelling its wild misgivings.
telling me I’m good at what I do
and I’ll be great is akin to telling
someone with a fear of flying that
statistically it’s safer than driving,
it does nothing to belay
my nerves from pitching and heaving.
In fact, it makes it worse,
cuz now I feel like I SHOULD
just be able to just get over it.
The best I’ve been able to do
is work on making betting acquaintance
with my fear – to allow it in the car
but not hand over the wheel
to dictate my direction.
(Fear is a horrible, no good, terrible driver.)
Trying to kick it to the curb just makes it
angry and more determined to stay put.
And it feels patronized – rightfully so –
when I throw shallow happy talk at it,
cuz it knows I don’t really mean what I’m saying.