Tuesday, 16 February 2016

SPOTLIGHT




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.