My girl and two of her besties are trying out for the school talent show tonight. They're singing Let It Go from Frozen -- the anthem of tween girls everywhere. They sound really good, and their routine rocks. I have no doubt they'll get in.
That doesn't mean there's no stage fright.
This morning, she asked me if I ever have stage fright. I told her of course, and we talked about the wonders of deep breathing.
After she got on the bus, I realized my worst stage fright these days no longer involves a physical stage. I really don't get on physical stages much any more. Every once in a while, I'll speak at a conference, but that's not really a performance, at least not in the way acting or singing or playing an instrument is.
My stage is a page, and I get nervous every time I work on a novel. Last night, I found myself in the grips of intense page fright while typing up my handwritten draft three revisions for PARKER CLEAVES. Sometimes the deep breathing works and sometimes it doesn't, and the anxiety threatens to spill over. Or it does, and I have to do my own deep breathing and I wait to feel better. Last night I had to walk away from the revisions because it was just too much.
And the thing about stage fright? No one can get rid of it for you. It's as intensely personal as the performance itself.
Good luck tonight, baby duck.