Stage Fright

Why is it so hard to get over stage fright? I am a streamer on Twitch.tv, and I play video games live. But I find that as outgoing as I am in other pursuits, I am terribly shy when it comes to being recorded by either microphone or camera (though I don’t have a camera yet). It seems that we’re so worried about what others think that we don’t even consider the idea that others probably and most likely don’t think about things as much as we do. They don’t think about us as much as we think about ourselves, and they certainly aren’t judging us like we judge ourselves. So, why do we get so frightened when being in front of people? It should be easy, right?

That’s what I keep telling myself. ‘It should be easy’. But I think that’s counter-productive; I’m scolding myself for being human. But I truly think the real reason for this is that we are own worst critics. We see every flaw within ourselves and no matter how many flaws we see in another person, we tend to see ourselves as someone who will never be good enough.

I remember growing up and in my teenage years, I would believe that others would hate me if they knew ‘who I truly was’, although I didn’t really even know what that meant. It was like I wanted to deliberately push others away and make them turn from me so that I wouldn’t have to face the pain of them doing it without warning. I have been betrayed a few times in my life by acquaintances, so that sticks with you and is often hard to get rid of. But perhaps it’s a mystery why we hold onto the painful things and let go of the good things. Or maybe it’s just me that does that. All I know is that it is a damn hard thing to get over stage fright.

Of course, I want to be a performer. I want to be an entertainer. I want to sing, write, act, etc. So, how could I possibly do that with stage fright? Maybe I just need to work through it and practice at getting better, just like one would with learning the piano or guitar. You are terrible and frustrated and embarrassed at first (or, at least I was), but then you get better, get little achievements, and start to feel good about your playing. Maybe the same thing stands for stage fright. Maybe it’s as simple as practicing and being more outgoing; following a set of ‘rules’ in your mind that you’ve written up just as you would follow the set of rules to learn music.

Though it’s hard for all of us, I think we overcomplicate it. I really do think that it’s as simple as following a list and developing a talent. I once read that we, as humans, are stronger than we could ever imagine. Physically. Our physical strength knows no limits, but we put limits on ourselves by believing that we have limits in the first place. Somehow, we jinx ourselves into believing that we don’t have enough, and by believing that, we end up not having enough. It’s the same for stage fright. We make things so much more complicated than they need to be, going through it in our minds of all the things that are so impossible for us to do. But it’s so easy to just get up and start…and so hard.

I read a quote by an author (whose name I don’t remember, seeing as I have short-term memory loss), and it went something like this:

“In order to write, all you need to do is sit down at the computer and write. It’s that easy…and that hard.”

I understand exactly what this author is saying. It should be easy – and often is – to get started. But sometimes our fear of what happens once we get started is what holds us back, in addition to being our own greatest critic. For me, that fear encompasses failure as well as success, because I don’t know that I’ve ever really been very successful at something. It’s the commitment factor for me as well. I hate commitment. But when it comes to relationships, I can commit. When it comes to deadlines I tend to hide under my bed until the world has forgotten about me.

But whether it be deadlines or commitment or failure or success, there is one thing we can’t avoid: the regret of not trying. I would rather feel the disappointment for trying and failing than the regret for never trying at all. So, as afraid I am of success, failure, and commitment, I will try and I will make it.

That’s all we can ever do.

 

 

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Humanity

My top two idols are Taylor Swift and Michael Jackson. I love their style, their grace; the way they hold their heads high and brace themselves for the world. I love how they interact, how they are kind, loving, generous, and loyal to their fans and family. I love how they are so similar, yet so different.

I’ve dreamt of being a singer since I was a little girl. Since before being a teenager, actually. I’ve worried about many things. Watching the hell that my two favorite idols have gone through has made me realize how risky an endeavor it is to make your way into show business. Michael Jackson was torn from the top, and they are currently trying to do that to Taylor. But why?

Here’s my theory:

Anybody can be jealous of success. It’s human nature to want things that you can’t or don’t have. At least, that’s what I believe. But I miss the days of my childhood where I believed that everyone would do things for the better; that they would be trustworthy and lovely. But that’s not so. The world is a dangerous, dark, and horrifying place. Though it doesn’t have to be, it is. I think the reason that Michael and Taylor are torn down is because they have reached the top – the highest of the high within their communities. Taylor has reached a place in her songwriting that no one else has met, and we all know how Michael Jackson ended up where he was. But the funny thing is that they are both incredible people (although Michael has passed, I still think of him as here, still with us).

I believe that the world fears incredible people. They fear the happiness, kindness, and light that these people can bring. Why? Because once you cast light on something, you will see its shadow. Once you revel in something that is wonderful, you will realize how hard it was before. Nobody likes to see the sins of their own people, and although we are all different races and we speak so many different languages in different nations, I consider us all one big family. The family of humanity.

Humanity itself can be cruel. No other living being to exist has purposely sought out to harm one another. Not one other creature has sought out to kill one another, simply out of spite or revenge. And as humans, we try to keep these dark things a secret. We hide them in the darkest, innermost corners of our minds. We put masks on. We lie. We smile when we don’t mean it. We fight each other and kill each other, all for the sake of ‘fighting for freedom’. So, how does this translate to show business?

When someone is at the top, it’s not simple to be happy for them. It’s hard, as human nature makes us jealous; it makes is spiteful, and it encourages us to fight against one another to put them down in order to feel higher than that other person. It’s the same as war, the same as bombing other countries. Why do we fight in wars, kill others, and commit these crimes? Because we want to prove that we are better. Because we see the other side as evil. Or perhaps it’s simply because we want to watch someone fall and be able to say that they are lesser than us. But within history, this has only lead to chaos. This has only lead to more genocide. It’s a simple formula, really. Success + jealousy = violence. It’s not enough to think in one’s mind that they are jealous or that they believe that one person doesn’t deserve what they have. It’s not enough to write it in a journal or even scream it from the rooftops. No, we have to take action. And that’s where the mistakes of humanity come in. That’s where we create those unchangeable parts of history that will forever be a blemish on our reputation.

I often ask myself why. Why do we do it? Why are we fascinated with death, violence, anger, and troubles? And if you think we aren’t fascinated with those things, then simply look to the nearest TV. What do most, if not all, of our TV shows and movies center round? These four concepts: death, violence, anger, trouble. We are fascinated by the fall of another while we are angered at our own falls. I’ve often heard it said that it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. Meaning a dog will commit a crime against its own kind for the sake of gaining a level in the food chain.

This saddens me.

In the back of my mind, all I can imagine is a rainy, desolate city, torn to shreds by others that believe they are superior. But are they really superior? I am American, and I live in a developed country. Does that make me superior to those that aren’t American, and to those that don’t live in developed countries? No. But does it make me less than them? Of course not! I’d love it to be simple, but it’s not. And it never will be.

Our desire to tear others down to make them smaller than us so that we can feel bigger will certainly end in our demise. How did the most evil or even the most powerful people in history die, or end? They were killed, either by themselves, or by someone else.

We think that we want power, but what do we do once we obtain that power? Once we get that far, maybe we don’t know what to do. But in the end, power truly is the substitution or replacement for something else. And what would that other thing be?

The desire to be loved and understood.

Chaos

Chaos is cold, and calculating. Abandoning its victims within chains of sorrow and ruin. A lot of us try to fight this, but it doesn’t need to be fought. What would we be without chaos? How would we know the good without the bad? How could we know the happiness without sorrow and disorder? Though it’s not that simple. Rarely is anything ever that simple.

What do I need to do to maintain order? What do we need to do to understand one another? It is so simple, yet so overdrawn with lines and solutions to problems that don’t exist when we try to get along with each other. It should be simple. We are all human beings. We all feel the same things, experience things in a similar way, and we can help each other understand why we fight. But first, in order to accept each other…

…we need to accept ourselves.

This Life Called ‘Freakshow’

Sometimes life isn’t as simple as just living it. Sometimes you have to do more than just that. Sometimes you have to wade through the water of your deepest fears, make your way through the storms of your greatest pain in order to end up where you want. Sometimes it’s not as simple as just being here, on this earth, and wanting what you want, and getting what you get. Sometimes you just need to handle things as they are.

That’s something I’ve discovered recently. I need to handle things as they are. I need to understand things as they are before I can have any hope of changing them; before I can ever make it to what I want to be, and who I want to be. It’s something that I think about a lot.

I call this life a Freakshow, because quite personally, that’s how I view it. It’s a Freakshow filled with monsters and circuses; things that go bump in the night. But I’m starting to sort through those things. But even if I sort through everything, put them all in their individual labels, and find a way to make them stay, it still won’t be anything other than a Freakshow. But do you know what the wonderful thing about a Freakshow is? You can be whatever you want. You can dress, act, and proceed like anything you want. You can be something in a fantasy, a fairy in a field full of flowers. Or, you could be something more sinister.

I find my Freakshow to consist of fears, doubts, and worries. But I’m sure everybody’s does. Of course, although we are all different, we also very similar. And though it may seem weird, but being similar is what sets us apart. It’s what helps us be the individuals that we are. We don’t notice things that are all the same. We do notice things with slight differences.

So, what does all of this mean? Well…I suppose I’m still figuring that out myself.