I stand backstage, waiting for my cue. My hands are balled into fists at my sides and my shoulders are tense. I try to slow my breathing and calm down, but it is pointless. A feeling of dread settles in my stomach as I anticipate the torture that’s sure to come. I’ve been on that stage a thousand times before, but never in front of a thousand people.
I’m just about to turn and bolt out the door when I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn and see my drama partner, giving me a thumbs up. I smile weakly and return the thumbs up, grateful that we aren’t allowed to speak. I don’t think I can form a full sentence without letting on how nervous I am.
All of a sudden the lights are dimming and the audience is quieting and it’s time for me to go. My partner pulls me into a hug and whispers quietly in my ear.
“Good luck. Remember, fear is temporary and useless. Go out there and try your best.”
So I step out into the spotlight and I do.