It takes a split second to push through from paralyzing fear into the confidence that makes you step out on stage and try own it. Waiting for the moment when we would kick off the Royal show concert was much like getting wax treatment from a snail with narcolepsy, as the deadline kept being moved back in 10 minute increments to accommodate the sloth like arrival of what would ultimately become the crowd and our audience.
There is only so much one can warm up, cool down & repeat before you get the heebies, but fortunately I was able to bite the trembling lip and get the wobbly knees to take the stage just like the pro’s I had been watching earlier during sound-check. The guys from Watershed & Wonderboom have this rock star brio taped, no shaky confidence for these cats, arriving with a kind of casual indifference I can only muster at Fruit and Veg City.
So far so good as I remember to put on the headphones this time to get the drum cue synced to our animated caricature, ‘Doodle’ to do his dance and kick us off…
…. and then I see it!
A camera view from behind me, which is a visage of oneself that few are ever prepared to see, never mind be flattered with.
And it is in HD!
Projected onto an enormous cinema screen behind me!
In real time!!
Suddenly my action becomes wooden & my sticks feel like foot-long wieners. All sense of time & space seem disproportionate to the the insectoid drum feed buzzing in my ears and I’m transported to a dream I had as a child of being on the playground at break time without trousers on…..
“All the world is crashing in…”
…and just as quickly I’m thrust back into the present, the reassuring words of a song we’ve played many times before kicks me into auto and the situation is brought into stark relief. Ignoring the Ogre behind me, I’m able to warm to the set almost instantly and channel the angst into a heedy cocktail of fear and enjoyment. Yeeehaah! What a privilege it is to be scared witless, and love it.
May we never become indifferent to this.