Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Controlling Pre-Performance Panic (Badly)

Oh. My. Gosh. At this very moment, I am trembling in shock, shaking more furiously than the most energetic dancer you could ever lay your eyes on. Deep down, I just know that panic will be pulsing through me at any moment before I have to try myself to stifle tiny, cat-like screams. Or, to be more accurate, yowls of terror.

Can it really be a day away? All this planning, preparation and practise is on the verge of being done away with by the end of the tomorrow -  and I'm thrust into the spotlight with absolutely nowhere to hide. What if the worst comes to the worst and I fluff my lines, landing myself in a pool of embarrassment deeper than the Black Sea? The shame of standing on a pitch black stage with an audience staring at me in wonder, unable to comprehend my epic fail (which might even trend on Twitter for all I know) from which I'll be unable to escape in a hurry. And don't even get me started on my fear of falling off the the stage which, compared to the hall beneath it, is as menacing as Mount Everest...

OK, do you get what I mean? Tomorrow is going to be a very important day for me. No kidding. For the first time in my life, I'm actually going to be getting on a stage and act, somewhat to the extent that my life - and actual GCSE grade - depends on it. So, fancy slipping your feet into my shoes in the next twenty four hours or so? Nah, didn't think so!

Ever since January, my Performing Arts class and I have been working on a play that, along with other year groups, we will perform in front of our families and fellow students (who, let's face it, are more likely to video the hilarious bits for YouTube to screen). Originally, our performance was supposed to have been held at the end of last term, but it was pushed back to the beginning of March which, to my surprise, has suddenly arrived. Like all the things we half look forward to and half dread, tomorrow's performance has gradually crept up on me, but its significance has hit me particularly hard in the past week as my class has held the last few rehearsals and we've started to prepare ourselves for what will happen tomorrow night.

For anybody who has ever performed in more than their primary school's nativity, getting up on stage, switching into a different character and acting like millions of parents aren't staring at you is tough. Personally, I don't see why we shouldn't receive medals for our outstanding bravery - without a doubt, it's certainly braver than attempting to increase the speed on a treadmill, isn't it? However, our awards are slightly different to that: they are marks that will contribute to our overall GCSE grade. So, all fantasies of giggling like a hysterical toddler on stage are automatically destroyed, unless I like the idea of getting a U in my coursework. And, obviously, my panic alone isn't worth a U, is it?

Although my coursework marks mean a tremendous amount to me, what matters most at the moment is actually remembering the few lines that I have. Unlike some of the words uttered by the other characters, mine can't really afford to be messed up; in fact, I say mine whilst standing at the very front of the stage, personally addressing the audience. As much as I want to see them, my brain will turn into a pile of lumpy, mashed potato-like mush if I dare to lock eyes with my family! Also, to my misfortune, my brother will be there, who takes advantage of any opportunity to laugh out loud, but I hope that he will know better than to do so about me!

Besides from my lines, I'm also participating as an extra in at least half of the scenes, which involves quick costume changes. Ugh, how I've grown to hate slipping out of jumpers, cardigans and blazers in the past two days alone - the floor, covered in heaps of clothing, look like a disaster zone! Had I known about the many costume changes. perhaps I would've thought twice about taking part in so many scenes because I'm notorious for being slow when getting changed. Really, nobody can blame for getting up at the crack of dawn in the mornings; it takes me about five minutes to slip my legs into a pair of tights!

Still, I realise that, sooner or later, I am going to perform because that is what the GCSE requires - and I've got a year to go until I hold my final performance, so I hope that I'll be bursting with confidence long before then! I simply couldn't have imagined being able to do something as courageous as this a year ago, which makes me so pleased about how far I've progressed within a few months. Performing Arts is renowned for boosting your confidence: albeit gradually, I'm starting to understand that, which is definitely having a positive effect on me!

Oh well, I might as well practise my lines before I take it easy for the evening. Like everyone in showbiz, let's hope that I break a leg, though not literally!

No comments:

Post a Comment