I’ve never been one for the spotlight.
As a shy 9 year old schoolgirl, I was terrified of talking in class and this experience was solidified one day when I had to do a talk on birds of prey. I knew my topic inside out and wrote down what I planned to say; the different kinds of birds, their colors and which countries they inhabited. I practiced in front of my Nana, who encouraged me and told me to stand up straight and smile.
So, by the time the talk came around, I knew every single word by heart. And when my teacher called me up and everyone looked at me, waiting to speak, I froze. Staying silent, until Mrs Scott gently encouraged me. Then, I looked at the papers in my hand and read the words as quickly as I could, only releasing a long held breath once it all over.
Roll on, a couple of months ago I was flattered to receive an invitation to perform at Fife Writes. I accepted with excitement and a little bit trepidation.
Fife Writes offers a platform to both up and coming talent and already established creatives. It’s organisers George Sinclair, David McDonald and Lilian Kennedy Brzoska work tirelessly to co-ordinate and promote events that support artists from very different fields.
Never one to walk into a situation without being prepared; I practiced until the day came. Puling up outside the venue, I paused, walked in and was warmly welcomed.
I was first up.
So, I stood up, smiled then promptly stumbled over the first couple of sentences and whilst I found my balance I remembered my Nana, my very own Golden Girl, saying to me as a child, stand up straight and smile.
Then I relaxed as stood in front of Brigid’s powerhouse illustration of Luther and I spoke of The Kinship Chronicles and where the inspiration for the story came from. I relaxed and began to enjoy myself and as I read from the point of view of Amber and Luther and merged with the story. I engaged with the audience, looking up without fear and smiling because I was enjoying myself so much.
Then when I was finished and sat down I grinned as the 9 year old inside of me said;
“You did it.”
Then I thought, I want to do it again…soon, especially when a people in the audience were kind enough to come up to me and ask; “Was that really your first time speaking?”
Now, a couple of weeks and three dates in the diary later. I feel very fortunate to have received that invitation on the exact date of Nana’s anniversary and instinctively knew, just as I can see something coming around the corner a week before it appears, that something good would come of it.
Because, when you know your passion and you go out and make it happen, opportunities will come your way.
I wonder what will happen next…
I can’t wait.