How I Developed Stage Fright

I’ve been singing ever since I could talk. Singing has always been something that I genuinely enjoyed doing. Starting from the age of four, I took singing classes and I would sing in front of smaller crowds. In my elementary school in New York, they had chorus but only for the fourth and fifth graders. I auditioned when I was in third grade and I got in. My favorite performance was when I was in fourth grade and we sang “We’re All In This Together” at the fifth-grade graduation. Gif of man holding heart shaped pizza

After fourth grade, I moved to Florida and my elementary school didn’t have a musical program so I had to wait until middle school. There was a scheduling conflict on my first day of middle school so I had to go to my guidance counselor to set up my schedule. When she told me to choose an elective, I immediately signed up for 5th-period chorus, which meant I would have chorus every day! I was so excited! Since I was a late admit, I had to “audition” for the class and also be placed in my section. I was placed right at the edge of soprano, next to the altos, which was a bad idea because I ended up next to someone who was a friend of mine. So one fateful day, my friend and I were on the risers and while one of the soloists was practicing and singing her solo, my friend and I were talking. Rude, I know but I’ve always been someone who got in trouble for talking too much in class. Understandably, my chorus teacher was mad that I was talking. But she decided to single me out and, in an effort to humiliate me, made me sing the solo in front of the whole class since I wasn’t paying attention. Harry Styles Martini

Well to everyone’s surprise but especially hers, I knew all the words, didn’t embarrass myself and sounded pretty okay. Because of this though, she decided that she wanted me to do the solo instead. I didn’t want to do it for many reasons but the main two were that my dad worked at night so I was unable to go to concerts, and I, a sixth-grader, didn’t want to steal a solo from an eighth-grader. I also hadn't sung in front of a crowd by myself for years, it was something I felt I needed to build up to. This didn’t sit well with my teacher so she literally pulled me into her office, made me call my parents and told them that I had to do this solo or she would give me an F for the quarter. My parents obviously agreed and my dad had to change shifts with someone, but I did the concert. The concert itself has been blocked out of my memory except for the fact that I took off my glasses so I couldn’t see the people in the audience. Glitch Man

When 7th grade came around, I was scheduled for chorus again and I switched right out of that class on the very first day of the school year. Her forcing me to do the solo instilled a fear in me that I still have today. I only recently got over my fear of being in front of crowds when I danced at two weddings last year and then one this year, but always within a group of people. I still love singing with all of my heart but to this day, I can’t sing in front of large groups of people. In hindsight, part of me wishes that I stuck with chorus because I love singing so much. I just didn't like being forced to do a solo that I didn't ask for or audition for. I would have felt more comfortable building up to a solo or auditioning for a song that I genuinely enjoyed. Maybe one day I'll be able to sing in front of larger groups of people, but for now, I think I'll stick to singing in the shower!