Self Expression Magazine

The Spoken Word Endeavor

Posted on the 11 August 2012 by Eternalmusing @HanaMuses
"No, no, no...absolutely not." I stammered. "Are you crazy? I have stage fright I--"
"Shut up, Hana! Just do it, it won't be bad."
"The piece though, it's not perfect. Graduation is in 3 days!"
This was the beginning of a journey I never thought I'd be taking.
It all started when I was in DC in an arabic intensive program. My friend said, "Hey, have you heard of this guy named Luka Lesson?" I said no, and she showed me this beautiful video right here. Stunning performance! After that, I kept searching for different spoken word performances from different people. I found another girl who did a poem about Syria, and that one was crazy powerful too.
After maybe a day, I thought I should try one. It came from the idea that people are always singling me out because I talk differently than they do... or something along those lines. So I wrote a piece about writing, about the process of the expulsion of words. The days where you awake in the middle of the night in cold sweat with an idea that suddenly struck you. Writing isn't just picking up a pencil and scrawling on a sheet of paper, writing is a maelstrom in the mind, a maelstrom of letters and phrases, of events remembered, figments of alliterations. I wrote this piece and performed it in front of the mirror. I then showed it to some of my friends, and they said I should perform it for the program's graduation in 3 days.
Absolutely not. I have stage fright. I hate speaking in public. Okay?
They kept pushing me though, encouraging me. I mean it's only going to be like 50 people, about 40 of my classmates and a few I finally agreed and called the program manager who fit me in. I spent the time trying to memorize the poem, but to no avail. Great. Just great. It was okay though, I read it enough to be able to look up a lot. Which was good enough.
Well as it turns out, a little bit more than 50 people are showing up...make that a little over a hundred. Yeah, I was going to faint. People helped me relax a bit, encouraging me and stuff, telling me how to breathe...heh. Yeah I was really scared. My hands were tingling and twitching, moving on their own accord. Basically, fear possessed my arms, making it very hard to move them, either my movements were too jerky or they wouldn't move.
The production manager came and sat next to me then and after a moment, whispered, "You nervous?"
"That obvious?" I whispered back, looking down at my hands.
"Nah, you'll be fine. Tingly hands?"
"'d you know?"
He shrugged, "It's common. Just don't worry about it, no one's gonna notice."
I nodded and looked ahead, waiting for my cue. When it came he wished me good luck and I went on stage. The mike swam before my eyes as I tried to adjust it. After some complications, I started talking, about the poem a bit, just introducing it. Then I went for it. Some struggling here and there because I could feel at least two hundred eyes staring at me. Then I forgot about the audience and I got into the poem. I felt the same thrill I did when I said it the first time in front of the mirror. It was exhilarating.
This was probably one of the most exciting things I've ever done! I really would like to do more, there's a certain thrill to performing your work in front of an audience.
If you would like to see the performance, it's right here. I will probably do the piece again and make another video, since I didn't deliver this one out the way I wanted to. In any case, I hope you enjoy it.

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