So today I am doing something that is so completely stressful that I am a nervous wreck. At the moment I look like this:
Why? You ask.
Well, I am off to do a Chinwag or open mike night at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. And I’m bricking it.
Don’t get me wrong – I have read before but this time is different. This time I am reading from my own book. And then I will have a few for sale after. Now, I’m not worried about the selling. People will want one or not.
What worries me is the reading.
The likelihood of my stumbling over the words is high. If I get stressed the dyslexia could make my stories dance and me freeze.
But I have read before. So it ought to be better. And this time I have practiced… I know what I’m reading and I have a plan.
I’m driving so alcohol can’t smooth the wheels. Instead, I’m going to have to rely on my skill, little as it is, for reading. I just have to remember to slow down and breath. Keep calm.
But I have the bit between my teeth now. The open mike works on a first come, first served basis, so if the list fills up and I miss my chance I can guarantee I will be disappointed. I need to read. I have to get over this fear. Practice is what I need, but not in front of my parents or a mirror, but out there. On a stage.
So tonight I will go early and stand in line. I’ll give my name and stand in front of everyone to read two stories, five minutes of material. If I stumble it will be fine and if I fly then I will have made it past the monster who haunts my nightmares.
In the audience there will be friends and I hope they will clap despite my stammers and pauses, because for me every clap or smile says, don’t worry you are doing fine.
So wish me luck and tomorrow I’ll tell you all about it. 🙂
This post was inspired by the daily prompt – witness protection.