The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Performance Anxiety

You: So are you excited? Performing a self-choreographed solo piece on silks at a nightclub in a variety show? I mean that is some high-level shit.

Me: Yeah. And I’m actually feeling mostly prepared.

You: Really? Not freaking out??

Me: Well, I mean, the routine is pretty solid, as long as I get the drops in the right place for the music. And I’ve been practicing makeup, which seems to be going better. I’m happy with my costume, and it seems low-risk for a wardrobe malfunction. And I even taught myself how to do retro-pin curls by watching YouTube videos.

pin curls

You: Wow. You’ve been busy. Not working, but certainly busy.

Me: Hey! I’ve been working, too! In between visiting various Fascination shops and Castle Boutique locations around town. They have the best aerial costumes, you know.

You: I didn’t. But now I do. So wow, you’re really going into this cool as a cucumber? That’s a change. I mean, usually at 48 hours out from any of the ridiculous events/performances/gigs/races you’ve gotten yourself into, you’re in a corner rocking and weeping, repeating, Why did I agree to do this? Why did I agree to do this?

Me: That’s true…

You: But in the end it always goes well and you’re glad you did it.

Me: Yes, generally, except for a couple of minor hiccups. Like my hands shaking through my Ignite presentation. And when my mind went blank and I forgot the end.

You: And your make-up at the Desoto gig. You’re mother is still horrified about that one.

Me: Yeah. And that ridiculous blister I got on the first Ragnar I ever did. Or the dent in the van from the hit and run in the parking lot at the Ragnar I headed.

You: But the point is, you were such a mess with worry over all of those things beforehand, but they all ended up going well. And look at you now. You’ve learned from your crazy behavior and mellowed out. I’m so proud of you!

Me: Well… I mean, now that you mention all of that, what if the worrying was part of the process? Like, what if by not stressing until sick, I’m jinxing myself and this show is going to be a total fucking disaster?

You: But you just described how well-prepared you are. What could go wrong?

Me: Oh there’s plenty that could go wrong. Like, I could fart in the middle of the routine. That could definitely happen.

You: Ok. So now we’re going to go down this road? Fine. Let’s say you fart. The music and crowd are going to be too loud to hear it. Not a big deal. Next?

Me: What if I can’t get my eyelashes on right?

You: Monique promised she wouldn’t let you go out looking like a weirdo. She PROMISED. I think fucked-up eyelashes fall under that umbrella. She’ll help you.

Me: The backs of my knees could be too slippery from the thigh-high socks I’m wearing that I can’t do the knee climb at the beginning of my routine.

You: You still have time to test that out. You should bring them in to rehearsal tomorrow and see. You can always spray the shit out of them with spray rosin if they’re a problem, or ditch them altogether. That wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Me: What if I don’t hit my drops at the right spots?

You: Like 3 people will notice and no one will care.

Me: What if the rigging isn’t secure and I do my first drop and it falls out of the ceiling and I hit the ground?

You: The people who did the rigging for this venue are professionals and have as much at stake for it being done properly as you-

Me: Not “as much” as I do!

You: Alright, not “as much”, but they have a lot at stake, too. It’s definitely not in their best interest for you to go crashing to the ground during a performance. It would speak unfavorably of their skills. Also, you’re just worried about the rigging because it’s new. It’s a fallacy of logic to think that the rigging is more likely to fail because it’s untested. It’s actually probably statistically more likely to fail at some point while you’re on it at the gym, because it’s been used a million times and will eventually wear out.

Me: I’m not sure that made me feel better.

You: Sorry, it’s true.

Me: What if I miss the 360 like I did that time I was rehearsing and almost hung myself?

You: That was a fluke. It’s already happened once, and it won’t again. You’ve done it a dozen times flawlessly since then.

Me: What if I do my shooting star and as I’m flipping down, I swing too far wide and smack my head on the metal railing surrounding the performance area? And my skull bursts like a watermelon at a Gallagher show, and that’s how I die, hanging from a white silk, blood pooling on the floor from my crushed skull, my limbs still automatically holding the landing position of the star, in front of an audience of a hundred people?

murdery railing

You: …well that would be a dramatic way to die.

Me: True.

You: That can’t really happen, right?

Me: I mean… I don’t think so.

You: Luckily, you seem to have worked yourself up sufficiently do avoid the ‘no nerves’ jinx.

Me: Usually I’m just worried about humiliating myself or letting people down. This time I’m equally nervous about looking fat in my leotard and death. So that’s new.

You: Break a leg?

Me: I’m gonna go rock and weep for awhile.

You: Yeah. It’s your process.

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