I remember the first time I was in a speech contest in 7th grade. I has chosen to recite “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. My mom had helped me pick it, and I just knew it would be a winner.
I was feeling confident. I was taking home a trophy that day. A few of us sat in a classroom at a neighborhood Catholic school and waited to start. The first girl got up to perform.
“I went to sleep with gum in my mouth, and now there’s gum in my hair…” she began.
Yep…we were performing the same thing. My mind raced. How could this be happening? Before I knew it, she was done.
She nailed it.
Inexplicably, I raised my hand to go next. Right after her. Why I did this, I will never know. I started. I forgot my lines. I fumbled through the whole thing, still reeling from the fact that SOMEONE ELSE READ MY SAME PIECE AND HOW THE HELL COULD SHE BE AS CLEVER AS ME AND THIS SUCKS…and I somehow made it to the end.
I didn’t make it to the next round.
I remember the comment sheet from the lady that “graded” us. It said something to the effect of “Bonehead move to go right after the first person that did your same piece. Boo. LOSER.” Okay, so that isn’t EXACTLY what it said, but that was how it made me feel.
The girl that performed “Alexander” also took home a 2nd place trophy that day. The book was a winner. Just not when I performed it.
I’ve never been one that loved getting up in front of a group of people and speak, but this event sealed the deal. Stage fright by the boatload.
I’d like to change that, maybe. When our Listen To Your Mother show happens, I might be reading in the performance. I might not. I have a few things I’d like to say about Motherhood. I have an opportunity to overcome my stage fright and read my own material (and even though I have no confidence in my own writing, other people say I’m okay at it).
I might just do it. Will you??
Listen To Your Mother-Kansas City will be at Unity Temple on the Plaza on May 11, 2013 at 7 PM. Listen To Your Mother is a national series of live readings by local bloggers and writers celebrating motherhood and Mother’s Day. We will give 10% of our proceeds to The Rose Brooks Center. Questions? Contact me!