For as long as I can remember, I’ve suffered from stage-fright, which is strange as I’ve been onstage since I was about five years old, whether it was to sing, act or dance. When I was a child, it used to be so bad that I would actually cry backstage before it was time to go on, which must have looked silly to the other kids in Operafest. As I grew older, it became less severe: the crying ceased, but I would still pace the dressing room until it was showtime, especially when I was in Sri Inai and it was musical season. By the time I joined the UB Choir and Royal Pitches, the pacing had become less frequent, occurring only when I had to sing alone, and I was reduced to clenching and unclenching my jaw because it always felt as thought it were vibrating, and taking deep breaths to slow down my heartrate.
The one thing that has remained constant throughout my life, though, is that the stage-fright would disappear within five seconds of going onstage. I don’t know if the stage-fright was brought on by the fear of having to perform for people, of forgetting my part midway through the show, or of not knowing what the reaction to my performance would be. But it was the fear itself that gave me the drive to do my best, to give everything I had, and if the response was negative, to know where I went wrong and learn from it.
It still hasn’t gone away. It’s been two weeks.