There is something utterly and completely freeing in letting go and forgetting yourself.
I have lived my entire life on a stage in front of people. Singing, acting, playing the piano, translating, reciting – I’ve been doing them since before I can remember. There is no fear or anxiety in them for me; they are simply a part of me. Yet when asked to speak before a group of people, my brain turns to mush, my intestines twist into knots, and my tongue transforms into a useless slab.
Speaking before a group of people is terrifying! People will listen to what I say, expecting something profound and life-changing. People will critique my every mistake, and if the grammatical errors get too numerous or the um‘s too frequent, they will tune out. The act of addressing people with my own words forces me to focus on myself and the inadequate words coming out of my mouth.
Performing, however, is a completely different story. When I am performing the focus is not on me and what I say, but on the song, the part, the memory. In performing I can let go. In performing I become the only person in the room. In performing I am free.