Confidence can be close to cheekiness at times – or perhaps daring! I love the story of the percussionist in the orchestra of West Side Story when it was first in the West End. The percussionist liked to have a drink in the interval in the pub over the road from the theatre. He didn’t have much to do in the first part of Act Two so he would take his time. One hot day he fell asleep at his post. He suddenly woke and thinking it was his next cue he took hold of the cymbals and gave them an almighty crash. Unfortunately, it was not his cue, it was a rather tender gentle moment between Maria and Tony and he completely ruined the atmosphere. Realising he was likely to lose his job he stood on his stool so that he could be seen by the audience and announced, “Dinner is Served!”
Wouldn’t we all like the confidence to be that bold? I think most of us vary from feeling ok to thinking – I’m a fake and everyone will see it one day.
Then you have that funny thing in life where things get on a roll. I mean things start going well for you and that causes other good things to happen. Or of course, the reverse where things can go from bad to worse.
Standing on a stage with hundreds of people looking at you (or even just a couple) can be very intimidating and the fear of getting it wrong can sap our confidence. I’d rather have the “dinner is served” attitude. Give it a good go and if it doesn’t work out SO WHAT!
If you are lucky you can then put it in perspective. Better to give things a go and believe they will work out than stand back and do nothing. You move forward as a person even if it goes wrong. That’s where performing arts classes are so good for young people. You can join in with everyone else playing “watch me fail” for a few weeks and you start to see that it’s mainly about believing in yourself and giving yourself a chance. Everyone gets those fears, it’s normal and dealing with them is what education is about. And as every performer knows for some mysterious reason the moment you step on the stage the fear suddenly goes.
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