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I am scared of last minute surprises

Joined: 10/31/2013
Posts: 3
“I’d take another chance take a fall take a shot for you.”
I reassured myself, “Good job. You sang the entrance well,” as I looked out into the sea of faces all fixated on me. It was parents’ weekend at the start of my sophomore year, and I was making my debut as the newest member of The Kapraphones, singing Apologize by One Republic, in front of three hundred people. Overcome with stage fright, I tried to maintain my composure as I launched into my solo. “Heaven let me think was you. But I’m afriaaaaad.” My face turned bright red as my voice cracked, sounding more like a pig’s squeal than my normally smooth baritone. I panicked and stared at my feet.

Sure, I hadn’t been able to support my breath because my nerves had gotten the better of me, but I couldn’t help but wonder how the performance might have gone if my group’s co-presidents hadn’t switched the song the day before the concert. I had originally been slated to perform Gavin DeGraw’s Not Over You, a selection that fit perfectly with my voice range and sound, and which I had sufficiently practiced. So, I was greatly disappointed during the dress rehearsal when my group’s presidents decided that the rhythm was too complex for the background singers and then cut the song for one that they had previously performed. What they forgot was that I, as a new member of the group, had never even practiced this song before.

After this onstage blunder, I developed an aversion to last minute surprises. Consequently, I became a stickler for obsessive preparation, not wanting to relive those terrible experiences. Unfortunately, that concert would not be my last encounter with surprises.

A couple months later in February, my acapella group was preparing for another performance, the Valentine’s Day Concert, when the club presidents once again made a last second switch. After rehearsing T Pain’s “Buy You A Drank” for weeks, our group randomly decided to sing the Plain White T’s’ “1234” instead. I was given the solo and told to memorize it by the next afternoon. Not wanting to repeat the Parent’s Weekend disaster, I practiced the song over and over again long into the night until my voice was hoarse. Extremely nervous during the concert, I hit a brick wall: Try as I might, I could not remember the lyrics. Growing frantic, I “doo ba’d” my way out of trouble. Expecting the audience to mock these stalling syllables, I braced myself for another bout of humiliation. The laughter came, but not as I had envisioned it. Apparently, the spectators viewed my mistake with great humor. Regaining my confidence, I remembered the lyrics to the song and finished strong, “I love you.”

Because of the positive memories from the Valentine’s Day Concert, I began to get over my fear of last minute surprises. Although I do not openly embrace them, they no longer induce panic.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your FEAR essay being chosen as 1 of our 10 essays in the running for 1st place in this month’s writing competition. This is a huge accomplishment since we received over 160 essays this month. Please feel free to share your “runner up” status with the world.

We are in the process of selecting our top three winners. If you are selected as the winner of this month’s competition, we will contact you directly via the email you used for registration.

In the meantime, you can view all the results by clicking on this link:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World, One Story at a Time”

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 3:53:43 PM
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