This is an unusual post for me to write, but as I’m waiting for a video to convert, I thought, why not?! I recently interview the wonderful Amanda Palmer, where you can read here if you so wish, and it was a very emotive interview. Very emotive. So I thought, if she can be honest, so can I. This is about as honest as it gets guys.
A lot of people talk about stage fright, I get it bad, just like anyone else. However, I also get it off stage before a speech. I get it when I have to speak to people socially.
I stutter when I speak about myself, I doubt my words, I apologies all the time for being anywhere, even if I’ve been invited, I bite my nails until they bleed, I freak out around anyone and everyone, I spout stupid phrases all the time and I need constant justification.
When I go and read at places, I feel like a complete idiot away from the mic. My nerves got so bad the other night, when the woman announcing the acts asked how I wanted to be introduced I said ‘as the vagina queen’. Yes, I actually said vagina queen.
Funny right? I felt like an idiot. I could see people around me rolling their eyes and looking disgusted. I love vaginas, they’re awesome but that’s not what I wanted to say! I think people a lot of people mistake it for over confidence and being full of myself, but trust me, it’s really not. And it makes things so much harder.
I can be a walking mess around people because I always feel I need to justify why I have the right to exist. I blurt out a lot of stuff that I don’t mean through sheer nerves and frankly, it’s bad. But I know I’m not on my own because probably about 99.9 percent of us do the same.
On the way home the other night I was reading The Sandman, one of my favourite comics by my favourite writer, Neil Gaiman, and in the back he wrote an epilogue. It said ‘never apologies, never explain’ and he is right.
You do not need to justify what you do, you do not need to worry about what people think. You just have to do it and if they like you, then they like you and if they don’t well, oh well.
People experience so much hate for not even doing anything. So you might was well do what you damn well please because people are always going to judge you. It sounds horrible, but sadly it’s true.
However negative a statement it may seem though, I hope it encourages you to be brave.
Speak your mind. Say what you feel, it’s more important now than it has ever been. We have the right as artists and creators to voice our opinions and they deserve to be heard. Words are our greatest weapons and culture is one of the best shapers of life.
So hang on in there, cross your fingers and let your voice loose. Do not be afraid. If a bumbling hippy like myself can go and perform a poem in front of an audience then imagine what others can do.
Whoever you are, I believe in you.
That brings me on nicely to this Baltimore poem. When you speak, say something.