I dream of being on stage. A performer. The way I say, sing, dance or whatever it is…moves people. Someone described my dream as my deep desire to express myself. In whatever method possible.
But reality is not like that. I get up on stage. Anxiety seizes me. But the motivation to do it, propels me up there. Yet, it’s never quite how I want it to be. But I never want it to be anybody else. I always believe this: next time, it will be better. But I am the worst critic.
Oddly enough, I have always wondered if I could split myself into two. So that I could engineer the perfect version of me to perform on stage. Whether it’s to give a presentation, a talk, or other performance. So that my habit of slurring words disappears. My volume of my voice is loud. And my posture is straight and confident. So that I scan the audience, taking control of them, instead of whimpering wondering when I’ll get back to my seat. And how I would space out my words in my sentences, breathing. Actually breathing. And gesture at the right times.
I have mastered one-on-one conversations. Even one-to-a-few. But one-to-many? Not yet.
Yesterday, I stood in front of 15 respected people. Outside of my company, a networking event. I had volunteered right away to speak. I casually joked around beforehand. And jumped to the stage with my prepared 7.5 minute stage. I looked at people in the eye, remembering my script. Slipping several times when the words could not come to my lips. “Promoting?” I asked aloud to nobody.
“Yes, the national newspaper promoted him,” I finally said, not quite happy with my phrasing knowing that the line was not surfacing.
And instead, I smiled and continued. A dash of envy filled me as I watched the following speaker spoke with such authority on his talk. Although I had no idea what he was talking about, because it was so obscure, I wondered…could I be split into two? To steal all the components of a great speaker in one. In the other, to be pulling the strings, to orchestrate the performance.
But this is reality. And to have sensory detail of everything, isn’t that why I am here? Isn’t what it means to live?