The blood rush of performing


Performing in plays was never a childhood dream, but I did it once on an impulse, and now it’s one of my favorite activities. From a decision made on a whim, I now crave the performance, the build-up to it, and the aftermath of it. But nothing beats the seconds before the lights go on, and all the anticipation gets to let itself out. 

When auditions happen, there are no preparations, and there is no big wait. Only a short anticipation that is whisked away in a matter of minutes. Auditions are only the precursor to the real deal, the big spotlight, the time when everything else fades away and it’s just me and my cast members.

The effort everyone in the cast puts together is astonishing. Everyone goes through their own struggles and hurdles, but I will only ever know mine. Soon all the work and effort piles up, and then there’s a full show and performance that everyone is eager and waiting to come.

It is sudden, the day of opening night. It jumps out and surprises me, and the frightening realization that it’s all about to end soon hits me like a truck. I’m suddenly overwhelmed by anticipation that wasn’t there a day earlier. 

It rushes at me faster than I can comprehend, so as soon as I start to think, I’m about to go on stage. I can’t forget to breathe; I have to take big breaths that would help me normally, but there is just a different feeling in me. I’m nervous, but my body doesn’t show it; my mind is running too fast, and I need to slow down. The stage is going dark, and I haven’t even thought about it until now. 

I’m nervous, but my body doesn’t show it; my mind is running too fast, and I need to slow down.

Too soon, I think, it happened too soon. As I sit and await my arrival, my mind rewinds to all the nights of repeating the same words over and over again. It goes back to the previous year and how far I’ve come from then and how far I’ve yet to go. 

Some part of me wants to cry about it, but I don’t do that. I sit staring and try to remember when it was all so hard and I didn’t want to go on. The times that I thought it wasn’t worth it and it was all a waste. I think back, and my mind laughs to itself. The past is such a funny thing when you know it was wrong. 

The blood pumps and anticipation builds to its max like a glass bottle being filled with immense quantities of water. The glass fills and fills. I can’t stop it, but I don’t want to; I want it to break so all of it can be let out, and no matter what, I can look back and think how much this has changed me and how far I’ve come. It’s bittersweet when the time comes and when the glass shatters, it may be sharp and pierce me, but it’s over. Because when it shatters, that’s when all the fear and doubt get flushed away.