Thursday, June 17, 2010

Get the "F" Outta Here!

That's right... You know what word I'm talking about.

It's that four-letter word that makes you feel dirty; makes you feel like running and hiding, lest anyone see how uncomfortable it makes you. C'mon, now, spell it with me...

F - E - A - R!

Confession: I am terrified to read in public. I mean, part of the reason I write is so I don't have to talk to people. Don't get me wrong - I love people. I like to think I'm as much a "people person" as the next guy, and with Mr. Wright being "the next guy," I try to be a tough act to follow. That is, when I'm not actually doing an "act."

If you know me in real life, you know I'll talk your ear off. You know how tough it is to have a conversation with me, because I just won't. stop. talking. Maybe you've seen my theatrical efforts, watched me onstage playing a spinster (Crimes of the Heart), a courtesan (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), or an ad executive (Twelve Angry Jurors; an adaptation of Twelve Angry Men). Maybe you've witnessed the spectacle that is my belly dancing effort (if so, my most sincere apologies).

The thing is, none of those compare to reading my work in public. I can have a one-on-one conversation with someone, even if it's more of my "one" than my companion's. I can put on a costume and become someone else. I can even comically shake my money maker with minimal humiliation, but doing literary readings makes my lunch wanna get up and dance... right up my esophagus and out my mouth.

It's just so... personal. Baring my soul to (what I hope will be) crowds of strangers adoring fans is a little -- well, soul-baring.

Do you have any tips on how to overcome stage fright? Or a secret fear of your own?

Let's get the "F" out of our lives, together!

Photo credit:


  1. To overcome our F*E*A*R of speaking to a group of strangers we were taught to,
    1. stare out at the audience take a deep breath or two, (2 makes sure you exhale as well as inhale, in through your nose, out through your mouth, in through your nose, out through your mouth, you get the idea. Just don't hold your breath) and then.... pretend they are all naked! Smile and NOW you can start talking or reading.
    2. It also helps if you have friends in the crowd, you can look at them and just have a normal conversation.
    3. Get to know your audience. Think of a couple of questions to ask them. (something that you know will lead them into a segue for your next topic.)
    You can do it. (inhale, exhale)

  2. Fear is the lock, and laughter the key to your heart (stephen stills from Suite: Judy Blue Eyes)

    Waiting for my autographed book.....


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