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Listen. It’s like its own symphony. The whispers of the anxious performers, the clickety-clack of the dress shoes against the floor, the out-of-tune notes coming from every corner of the room. You yourself are silent, standing alone, your knuckles white and your face drawn tight. You know this, you tell yourself. You’re ready. It’s the same mantra going through the heads of everyone performing tonight. But despite their encouraging thoughts, they’re terrified.

You are led onto the stage second to last, and it’s a whole other kind of music. The shushes from the audience, the flutter of your sheet music. The room seems to be pulsing with anticipation, and you clench your fists to prevent your hands from shaking. Every pair of eyes is on you.

And there it is. The complete silence that passes over the room. It lasts only for a split second, but that’s all the time that you need. That’s your silence, you think. That space is yours. And now you have to fill it.

All of the fear, all of the hesitation, rushes out of you, and you raise your instrument. It’s time to play your own song. It’s time to make your voice heard.


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