I went into this with reasonably high hopes. I had a few gigs under my belt, which had all gone pretty good. I had a tight set, but was still a bit unsure about some of the new material. My biggest obstacle however was the nerves.
Nerves, or stage fright, hits me with various degrees of severity. Sometimes it's just a buzz. An uptight feeling. A bit of a sweat. Increased hearbeat. Sometimes, if that doesn't sound bad eneough, it's a lot worse. It's hard to describe unless you've experienced it, but today, it was nearly off the scale.
Fight or flight is the best way to put it I think. Even as I was sat at the side of the stage, counting down the performers that were left to go on (I was 2nd last out of 13, which didn't help the nerves at all) all the usual symptons were going wild. Sweating buckets, you know the rest. But this time, it was racing through my head.....
"What the fuck are you doing?"
"You can still sneak out."
"No one will notice."
"What the fuck are you thinking, you're there to perform, you've done it loads of times?"
And so it continued right up to the performance. In the end, I think I did well. My 8 minute set lasted just over 7 minutes, so the adrenalin must have really sped me up.
I didn't get through. No great shame there as there are nearly 400 competitors nationwide. But I did learn a great deal. I will control the nerves. It does place some doubts in your head, but the true verdict is the laughs at the gigs, and as long as they're still coming thick and fast.........
Bring on the buzz.