Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

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.

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About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
This entry was posted in Just Stupid Stuff We've Done, Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, Tales from my youth and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

  1. Thank goodness for good friends! But, it was still up to you to accept the invite. I can relate. My life changed when a teacher invited me to enter our Junior Miss pageant. No crown, but it was a whole new world after that.

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Yes, it was up to me to accept but my best friend had a way of “convincing” me to sometimes do things I really didn’t want to do but did anyway because I was afraid she’d be mad if I didn’t. I tended to be a people pleaser and I guess to some extent I still am.

  2. Ron says:

    Oh Peg, I so enjoyed reading this post!

    And if you can believe this, I too am a shy person. I consider myself both an introvert AND an extrovert. And it’s funny because when I took the Myers Briggs test, I took it twice and ended up being an introvert the first time, and extrovert the second time – HA!

    How cool that you did some acting onstage, I had NO IDEA?!?!

    But I’ll tell ya, MOST actors are shy and have stage fright. I use to get terrible stage fright before a performance to the point of not wanting to go on. But once I got out there, I was fine. I’m such a HAM!

    “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.”

    That is so wonderful! And the people who work ‘behind the scenes’ are as equally as important as the people onstage because without the backstage work….there would be NO production.

    Hope you had a faaaaabulous day, dear friend!

    X

  3. Mike says:

    Was the high school play, “Arsenic and Old Lace?” (That’s the only one I remember the name of
    !)

    • pegbur7 says:

      I worked behind the scenes in Arsenic and Old Lace. I think it was the year before but I swear I can’t remember the name of the play now and I swore I’d never forget it because it scared me so bad to be up there!

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