Naturally, when I’m not “high” or drunk or somehow unlike myself, I feel as if I am quite shy (other people sometimes tell me I don’t seem it; sometimes they agree with me and think I really do). Yet, I do poetry readings. I did one yesterday night and I was shaking beforehand. Afterwards, my knees almost gave out on the way back to my chair from pure nervous energy. But on stage, in front of people, reading my work… I feel quite comfortable. It’s developed, to the point where I can read at a normal speed, in a normal voice, not squeaky at top speed. It’s a bit like the zillion years I had to be The Narrator for school Christmas plays. I don’t know where I find the energy or the (blush) courage (??) to be in my comfort zone in such an exposing situation but I do. It helps to be short- fiddling with a microphone is a good ice-breaker. I’ve been told it’s “endearing”.
The poems I read yesterday were quite personal and I took care to give a very brief explanation of each before reading- it was a mental health and poetry evening so I didn’t feel too embarrassed/ terrified. One poem was about general one: http://thumbingathought.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/66-how-silence-is-kept/, one was about self-harm and the scars, one was about a friend who had been depressed and the strangeness of my own reactions. Things that, in “person”, I find it hard to discuss, yet in front of people, with a microphone, I felt comfortable sharing. Attention seeker, haha.
Afterwards, my two friends gave me a hug and a kiss. And four different people came up to tell me they’d enjoyed it. One lady said “thank you for sharing that- it was absolutely lovely” and I blushed my socks off and felt incredibly grateful. Somewhere in me- I need to remind myself constantly- is someone engaging, confident and capable of holding a room. Somewhere in me is somebody brave.