On stage

On my way to the presentation I was giving yesterday I was thinking about my the good old days of performing on stage. I spent years doing theatre and singing with various choral ensembles as well as performing at clubs every now and then. If you have this sort of background (or frontground) I suspect you will recognize the feeling I’m thinking of.

There’s a period of time before you go on stage where you have forgotten everything you ever knew about the piece you’re doing. This usually happens to me only when I know it inside out and sideways btw, if I truly don’t know I don’t get into this mindspace.

Anyway, you are totally blank. And you might think to yourself, hmmm I don’t remember my cue. When is it I walk on stage?? Or hmmmm, I don’t remember a single line/note. It’s just all gone. Some people freak out and start frantically running lines or whipping out a pitch pipe because they can’t remember what a B# sounds like. Some people pace/chain smoke/mutter…

I kind of like that feeling of just being empty and then suddenly, as you go on stage to sing/dance/speak you come alive again. You’re doing it and it’s all clear and comfortable, and if you fudge a line it’s not a big deal, you’re just in it.

Anyway, all that to say, I get into that same space when I’m presenting or giving a paper and I had not really realized that was what was happening to me. Until yesterday. I usually freak the hell out! LOL I mean I’m at a conference, I’m giving a paper but I can’t remember how to spell F/feminism(s)?? 😛

Then of course, when I start my talk/presentation it’s all there and it’s fine.

I wonder if other people experience this when presenting or if it’s just the trauma induced by years of being in theatre???



  1. Jeffrey Willis Said:

    Well, I’m not the best one to answer that second question, as I’ve got years in the theatre as well, in fact, acting is still one of my main passions. 🙂 That being said, I think performance anxiety is very common. 🙂

  2. thealeticia Said:

    It’s not anxiety that I’m refering to because it’s not anxious, it’s just blank. It’s being unable to remember your lines/notes/etc. consciously but it only becomes anxiety if you worry about it.
    It’s like a different level of memory takes over and it can’t be consciously recalled for a while. Or something.

  3. Jeffrey Willis Said:

    Yeah, I know, I just meant many people panic over it… So, respond to my e-mail already *grin*

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