Taking Down Stage Fright: My First Show

I played my first show a couple of weekends ago. It feels pretty surreal now that it ever happened.

Even the next morning I wasn’t sure that it had. Probably because I went from singing on a stage to a crowd of people in a bar to sitting alone in my cubicle staring at some graphs.

But happen it did. It all started out with me attending my first ever open mic at a place called Free Times Cafe. I don’t want to sing professionally and I don’t care much about performing. BUT I hated the idea of having stage fright.

I’ve had stage fright all my life, since I was a little kid when I would cry if I was being forced to sing in front of people.

When I was a teenager I was taking classical voice lessons and actually dreamed of becoming an opera singer. But I would enter into these singing competitions and when I’d perform, I would get so nervous that I’d forget all the words and something that was NOT my voice would come out of my mouth. It was pretty brutal.

I got back into singing many years later, but this time just for fun. I was taking lessons at my friend’s music school and every year they put on a recital. I still got the uncontrollable shakes the couple of times I sang on stage. And that bothered me.

People who aren’t sure if they’re going to get killed stepping outside of their house on any given day in a war-torn country have something real to fear.

Stage fright? Well, I believe stage fright is an irrational fear stemming from the insecurity you have that people may think you suck after hearing you perform.

I actually think many of the things we’re afraid of doing in life come from caring too much about what other people think. And so we hold back. We don’t pursue the things that would bring us great enjoyment or a more fulfilling life.

And so, when I was asked by the Free Times’ open mic host to come back for their Best of the Open Stage show, I said yes because I knew it was time to really kick stage fright in its big butt.

I practiced really hard for the next couple of months to prepare. I went to a couple more open mics to get practice singing in front of people. I almost planned to go sing out on the street — I figured if I could do that, I was golden!

But I got sick a couple weeks before the show (of course). I tried not to panic and focused on getting better. The night of the show, I was still battling something and was barely keeping myself together. But the audience was so incredibly amazing and all I wanted to do was lay out everything on that stage so I could walk away knowing I did my absolute best.

It turned out to be a great night and I was mostly just ecstatic to have so many of my favourite people in the same room, showing so much love and support.

Would I do it again? Yes, I would. I truly believe that conquering fear in one area of your life will just make you less fearful in other areas of your life.

And as with most things, practice makes perfect — so, the more you practice pushing fear away and just going for it, the easier it becomes to ALWAYS push fear away when it’s trying to steal the spotlight.

What’s been one of your life-long fears that you’ve either conquered or would like to conquer?

~ Cafe <3

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16 thoughts on “Taking Down Stage Fright: My First Show

  1. I’ve entertained the thought of doing 5 minutes of standup comedy at an open mic. I don’t know if I will ever have the balls. I think you are right about conquering one fear will help with other fears. Anyway, good job!

    • Thanks, Mr J! :) Trust me, if I could grow the pair to do this, you can definitely do your five minutes of stand-up. I never thought I’d see the day. Have you gone to any of the stand-up comedy open mics in your area? Before I actually sang at my first open mic, I just sat in on one first to know what the vibe was, how supportive the audience was, and what else to expect. It relieved some of my fears and made me feel like I could come back there and get on the stage.

      • Maybe I need to grow some ovaries. A while ago I went to an open mic at a comedy club. It was a good time. Most of the open mic volunteers were young but pretty good. It’s easier to get laughs in an environment where people want to laugh. So ya, checking it out makes it easier to get up on stage myself.
        You must have felt a real high afterwards.

        • Lol ovaries work too.

          I definitely felt some crazy adrenaline after. It was really mind-blowing to see so many good friends in the room who had come out just to support. I felt really loved :)

          That open mic you mentioned sounds like the perfect place for your debut! Hehe

  2. I have been performing with a fellow who has been singing professionally in bars since the age of 8 years old. He is now 46. We had our first gig a few weeks back. And what he said blew my mind. He said,”The stage fright never leaves me, every time, I get scared…before..right before playing.” Then what got me was he said it leaves him the moment he hits the stage. I just wanted to be able to play in front of an audience, loud on a P.A system and enjoy and feel the songs. I wanted to really FEEL the passion in the notes and music. I did.

    • Amazing, Ted! I completely understand what you mean about just wanting to enjoy and feel the songs. It is such an awesome feeling to be able to express yourself completely through something you love to do. It’s also great that you get to play with someone who’s so experienced. What kind of music do you guys do? Will this become a regular thing?

  3. Oh come on you performed and didn’t tell me??? You are so dead to me!!! Lol jk. Super proud of you girlie!!!!! I’m sure you kicked some serious butt :)

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