Hey everyone! What’s poppin’? The talent show I was preparing for turned out pretty great. My good friend Mina (you check out her Haikus and Things Askew column at here) helped me record my whole performance because she has a high-quality camera, and—thanks to her—everything was caught on film. You can check out the video above and, while you listen to me sing, read about my experience below.
Remember when I said I was hoping people would sing along to my mashup because it makes it feel like I’m having my own concert? Well, it sort of happened. A lot of people reacted when I started singing certain songs, but they were actually getting shushed and held back from singing, thinking it might come off as rude to disrupt my performance. I wish I’d made it clear before I started singing that everyone should feel free to sing or clap along if they liked, but just the fact that people wanted to sing along with me is enough to make me happy with my performance.
I feel like the performance itself was way better than I expected, although there are still so many parts I’m unsatisfied with. It was blindingly bright onstage, and I could barely read my lyrics or my music (my fingers kept stumbling over the piano keys too). One interesting thing I did notice during the performance, though, was that I barely shook when I was singing. My whole life I’ve had really bad stage fright, but my stage fright is a little different from the typical person’s stage fright.
Normally, people have stage fright because they’re afraid of being the center of attention or are nervous to speak or perform in front of large numbers of people. Did you know in 2014, public speaking was the number one fear of Americans? I learned that in my psychology class last year and didn’t get to use that little piece of trivia until right now. Personally, I don’t mind being the center of attention—in fact, I love it. Growing up onstage as a dancer and performer, I became used to the feeling of everyone watching me and even started to enjoy the applause of a large audience. However, every time I’m about to sing onstage, my body starts reacting differently than my mind does. My mind is always pretty calm because I know I’ve practiced whatever it is I’m performing, and I know that I’m completely prepared, but then my body won’t stop trembling. My heart usually beats so hard it feels like it’s literally making my voice shake, and the anxiety makes my fingers tingle while my hands are cold and damp with sweat.
And that’s why for this particular performance, I was so surprised at how stable my voice sounded (for the most part). Sure, my voice starts to waver and break a little bit once I’m several minutes into the performance, but I’m honestly just glad I didn’t ruin the whole thing by trembling nonstop. All in all, I’d say I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.
Then, at the end of my mashup, I changed the lyrics to Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” to ask my friend Luke to prom (you might’ve seen him in Esther’s music video from way back). The last two lines were supposed to be, “You can probably guess what it’s gonna be—Luke Haubenstock, will you go to prom with me?” I didn’t expect the crowd to go so wild after I said his name, so I never got to finish my last line. I’m sure everyone got the gist of what was going on though, considering my friends Mark and Regina ran onstage with a huge poster that said, “PROM?”
There were two options on the poster: Luke could either say “YES” or “NO, just kidding hell yes,” and he checked both boxes (thank goodness). I remember talking about it with my friends and they were questioning the scenario, asking “What if he only checks the ‘YES’ box and it seems like he’s not super excited to go with you?” or “What if he only checks the ‘NO’ box and people from far away think that he’s rejecting you because they can’t see the little writing after it?” I’m glad it worked out and Luke checked both boxes, especially because I’d probably never be able to think that fast on the spot.
For those of you concerned with me putting Luke in the spotlight: don’t worry, I made sure he was okay with being onstage and getting that much attention before doing the promposal—I wouldn’t traumatize someone like that without their permission. Anyway, I hope you liked my performance!