Nerve wreck.

From the day of choosing three poems until the Midterm poetry recital, I really allotted much time for the preparation for the performance. I put much effort, my heart into it, and gave my best. I remember conducting thorough research about the poem, and the author, printing hard copies, jotting down notes on the photocopied poem that I had, listening to how the poem should be delivered via online, trying to perfect my tone and diction to be in par with the speaker who was reading it, writing the speech I had to deliver on the day of the recital, practicing inside the bathroom while having my morning showers, recording myself with my phone, studying my facial expressions and the emotions I had to convey, searching for the most inner depths of my soul to feel the rhythm of my own heart beat and let it guide me with my interpretation. Admittedly, being one of the best performers had actually crossed my mind. But I know who I am and what I’m capable of. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like performing infront of everyone so I shrugged that thought off. I’ve seen how my fellow classmates in groups four and two, whose performance made the hairs on my arms stood up, did really well. I wanted to perform just like them, with confidence and all.

On the day of the performance, I felt really cold and I was literally shivering. I kept myself busy by watching videos on my phone just to push away the thought that we were about to perform. When it was my turn, scraps of thoughts came rushing in all at once to keep myself composed. I tried imagining that I was still in our bathroom, practicing, with no one staring at me. I forced myself to think that infront of me were not people but my pet dog, who normally just sleep on the couch and not care, and lastly, I imagined that I was a thirty-five year old woman, a person twice the audiences’ respective ages. And it worked. I saw them as kids.

I remembered our group director encouraging us to deliver the performance with utmost confidence and that’s how I started my performance. I started it with a loud voice that I was notorious of having one in the family but never seem to use it in public. “Good day, everyone!”, I say. At first, I was really nervous, still. I dared not look into the eyes of my classmates. I made my eyes meet with Dr. Evasco. And she was there, nodding, smiling, listening to what I was saying infront of everyone, encouraging me to go on. That boosted up my confidence.

I loosened up a little but still the nervousness was still there. My throat went dry. I tried to swallow some saliva but nothing came in. I choked, twice, I think. I wanted this to end already.

Half-way through the performance, I remembered that this was my show. I felt that the people who were watching me actually liked to listen to what I was saying- the author’s background, the literary reasons why I chose the poem, and the poem I had to deliver. Everything went normal. My body temperature cooled down. I felt almost relaxed. I realized that I liked this, I wanted this because I’ve prepared for this long enough. I forced myself to think that I like performing infront just like what I used to do when I was a kid, singing and dancing infront of my aunts, and uncles when they asked me to. And I think it kind of worked a little. I made some gestures when I delivered the poem now and then. Even though I was stiff, I did it. I think I’ve improved a lot compared to the time when Dr. Evasco had first seen us deliver what we had to say in the SJ room.

After the performance, I felt relieved when I saw Dr. Evasco smiling, and clapping, while the rest followed. I felt relieved that it was over. When I had taken my seat with my groupmates, one of them said that I was actually good. I reconsidered that compliment. Maybe, I did well. That made me smile.

When I got home, I watched myself in the video that I took two days before the performance. I was kind of disappointed because I know that I lacked gestures and facial expressions. But overall, I think I did well for a person with stagefright issues. So, I think I deserve a –.


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