As much as i relish being in the spotlight, the introvert within me still finds it extremely hard to build up that confidence. A million incoherent thoughts race through my head and the reality manages to fade to the backdrop. Life doesn’t pause. I wish it did. It only hastens. The time to perform comes faster by the minute. The moment of truth. The part where i cannot go wrong. Even after multiple flawless practices, the fears always manage to creep in.
Restlessly, i stroll around. Finding one place to sit, before deciding on abandoning it for another. Paranoid about my stuffy nose making me sound weird, some intense runs to the bathroom take place. My face wouldn’t show a glimpse of the turmoil inside as i look at it in there. Good. Better in than out. Couple of deep breaths, a sip of water to ease my rusty aching throat, and a few steps later, i find myself in front of them all. I had this little speech prepared in my head about the amazing singers of these songs. But it was drowned out as soon as my mouth opened. As i tried to figure out the first words, my hands went on autopilot, forcing me to keep up with their frantic pace.
(Here is the entire performance)
It was by no means perfect, or even close to that. My nervousness only made my sore throat quiver further. For a song which i had sung so so many times, not being able to remember the lyrics was a first. Then suddenly in the middle, i had lost my touch with myself as a couple hundred pairs of eyes looked at me in anticipation. The part which i had worked on the most, the high note, the intricacies, all fell flat. How often do i find myself in these situations?
This is where i decide to pause for a second. Maybe because i realised i wouldn’t be transitioning without that paragraph. Maybe because i didn’t want to continue with the same song after stopping in the middle. My condensing fears were about to overtake but i held on. Long enough for the hands to change the route. I was about to sing the first song i had ever been able to sing with the guitar. That was more than a year ago. I was not going to mess it up. I wouldn’t let myself do that.
Halfway through the song, as i am nervously wondering how badly the audience noticed the glaring mistakes i had made, i hear people starting to clap with the beat. One after the other, so many people start joining in. Maybe this performance was not so bad after all, i thought. My face has serious expressions when i sing most of the times, but somehow, i was smiling as i sang. I was looking at all their hands going in unison, i was looking at a few lips mimicking the lyrics. Those few hundred eyes suddenly didn’t throw me off my comfort zone anymore. The fears had well and truly evaporated.
I think i finally understood why people love singing for a crowd.
Because yesterday, i started loving to sing
not for them, but with them. . .