It’s crazy because I made a piece on this before. I’ll probably put it on here on a later date. Anyway, I remember it was about two years ago around September. I went to a couple of open mics I like what I saw. Something about how the poets moved the audience by the words they spoke. I loved how hype the audience got when a poet said a perfect stanza.
That’s when I knew I wanted to perform. The only thing was my nerves. I am a shy person, so performing is not where I’m at yet. Honestly, I would love to get on a stage and have a killer performance. I have a lot of poems that I know would be good to speak on a stage. But I have to get over this stage fright. But back to the story.
I remember it was late at night. It had to be like 10 pm. When one of my friends said to come to perform at this place in D.C. I was scared as hell. Part of me wanted to say no, but the other half said yes. I needed to get my feet wet, so I went. When I arrived, it had to be no more than seven people in the room.
There was no stage. Just a room with a mic and a couple of chairs and my fear filled the air. I have never been that scared before. I know some readers probably thinking like afraid of what? I guess I have a fear of embarrassment.
The exact piece I did was called “Crazy 2”, it was a piece on police brutality and police shootings on the black communities at the time. I wrote it around the time when Chris Brown was being investigated because a girl called the police and that whole altercation. Plus I remember the cops had shot a kid, so I was livid by the recent activities.
When they called my name to perform, I started shaking like a stripper. I mean I could have made some single grandma throw some ones by the way I was shaking. I got to the mic, and I didn’t have my piece memorized, so I was reading off my phone. When I said the first line, my voice cracked. So at this moment, I lost all confidence with how I was trying to come off. Then I don’t know why but my right hand started shaking like I was rolling dice. I started sweating like I just ran a marathon. Plus the mic in my left hand was slipping. So after six lines, I stopped, and I just ended the piece. I couldn’t finish it. The poem is about 2 or 3 pages, so I didn’t get a chance to get to the good parts.
It was like everything I didn’t want to happen, happened. It was awful. The only good part that I liked was that I tried and learned from it. One thing I learned was to pick a piece I knew. I think if I use a poem I know it would be a little easier. Also, practice is critical. I know I didn’t practice this at all. In fact, I wrote the piece like a day or two before the open mic. That was a big mistake. Literally, on the way there I was searching through my phone to find a piece that would be perfect for this. So as I think about it, I need to prepare for the next time I perform. Well, that wraps it up for this story time. The biggest lesson I take from this is to practice, practice, practice. Take your time and be prepared. Don’t rush the process.