In the Redeye (the free daily newspaper here in the city) there was a listing for a monthly reading night that happens at a local bar. One of the awesome things about living in a city is that there is a plethora of these sorts of events to attend. As I’ve been wanting to get myself involved in some of these, I decided I should man up and attend. As they plot out their readers months in advance, I knew there was not pressure to get up that night and so I didn’t really have an excuse not to go. Not brave enough to attend alone though, I contacted a friend and we decided to meet there.
Once I arrived I felt a little more comfortable than when I planned to go in the first place. We got a beer, sat down and settled in to listen to the scheduled readers. The person running the event got up first and began to explain how us audience members could get involved and read ourselves. By simply putting our name on the email list and circling it, we were guaranteed that we would eventually be given the opportunity to read. My nerves reemerged, as I knew that I would have to put my name on the list, that I couldn’t pass up this risk.
The first round of readers got up and were equal parts hilarious, heartbreaking, lovely and relatable. This did nothing to help me feel better about the idea of getting up there myself. So when the first round was over and intermission began, I immediately went over to the list and signed up before I could chicken out.
It’s not that I have a problem reading in front of others. The real fear comes from my having little experience reading my own work in front of others. Also the nature of this particular group is to read stories that are personal and true. The thought of reading something that actually happened to me is a bit exposing.
After talking with the guy who ran the night, it looks like I probably wouldn’t be able to get up until after the new year. So I at least have some time to think and process and attend a few more of these readings before my own turn pops up.
On the plus side it looks like I have a risk plotted out a few months in advance!