This week for Mama Kat’s Almost World Famous Writer’s Workshop I chose prompt #1.) Write about a time you were forced to step out of your comfort zone.
There were many times when I have been forced to step out of my comfort zone. I know most people will probably guffaw when I saw this or drop dead from shock, but, I am innately a shy person. Yes, I do realize I am talking about myself. Most people assume I am very outgoing. And I am because I force myself to be. I do not feel comfortable “putting myself out there” for all the world to see.
That was why it was odd that back in high school I allowed my best friend to talk me into going out for the track team and then the speech and drama club. The track team proved short lived, not because I wasn’t good at it but because my mother decided it was inconvenient for her for me to be transported back and forth to practices and meets. I guess I was almost kind of relieved because I no longer had to worry about being the center of attention, which I never really felt comfortable with.
The speech and drama club and the debate clubs were a little different. I really hated doing the debate team even though I am a natural born stubborn arguer. I didn’t mind the debating during practice, it was when I had to get in front of a large audience that I felt like my tongue was three feet thick and that my mouth was filled with peanut butter and molasses! It was already bad enough that I have a lisp and really slur my s’s but to be so nervous made it even more pronounced. It didn’t take too long before I decided I couldn’t do the debating in front of large audiences. I’d kind of freeze up, not from lack of desire to debate but simply from fear of being in front of all those people.
Then I let Sylvia talk me into trying out for a play. Sam was a natural born actor. Very outgoing and gregarious. I was better with her egging me on but again… once I got out on that stage I really suffered from stage fright. I think I only was in one play and didn’t have that many lines but I was so afraid that right before I went on I almost had a panic attack. Worrying about where to stand and if I’d remember my lines and the people… OH MY GOD….. they were all looking right at ME! Yeah, One or two plays and I was done. I had my fill of being out on stage and decided I was much better off behind the scenes working in wardrobe and make-up. There I thrived!
I loved hanging out backstage. That way I was still soclose to the action but didn’t have to be the center of attention. I could use my creative abilities to work on the costumes and hair and make-up for the actors and even worked on the programs and props. I did just about everything BUT act and I loved it. I didn’t have to worry about people staring at me or panic attacks. I didn’t have to worry about forgetting lines. I could just be me! And that’s what I do best…just be me.