There is a common belief/advice out there that says that what you do on the first day of the year sets the tone for the rest of the year. I took this to heart and made myself get up in front of a crowd (8 people) at a poetry open mike event last night.
I started out by reading a piece written by someone else in the first round. There were some names of places I was unfamiliar with and stumbled over them, but it went okay. The next round I read some of my own. I think it went okay. My hubby, who is a regular at these things said he liked one piece in particular.
The thing is - I did it. I read some of my work to strangers. And I survived.
I know that sounds silly, but the last time I did that I had a panic attack afterwards and I couldn't leave the venue fast enough. That was two years ago and it has taken this long to try again.
It takes courage to stand up before a room of people and in essence open a vein and bleed all over the stage. Because that's what you do. You open yourself up in ways that most people don't. It is safer to lock it all away inside.
Special thanks to Bill Campana, host of "Sound Effects," held at Mama Java's every Friday night from 7 to 9 pm in Phoenix, Arizona.
Update: 06/09/10 - "Sound Effects" has moved to Saturday afternoons from 4 to 6 pm at Mama Java's. The economy "encouraged" the owner to shave down his hours of operation.