When The Worst Happens By Elliot Rendall

Well, I think my literal worst nightmare came to life this week. And not even like a cool obscure nightmare that only my brain could come up with. A nightmare me and every other theater kid has had before.

I got up on stage, said my name and what I was singing- and then started to sing the wrong part of the song. Despite days and days of singing it over and over again, preparing for this moment, I made one of the worst mistakes possible. I felt every muscle in my body realize it and tense up as I completely blanked on what my lyrics actually were, and just kept singing the wrong ones. After attempting to roll with it and completely failing, I stopped myself and apologized, before rushing off the stage.

I absolutely, completely, totally choked. Something I hadn’t even had on my anxiety radar (which is shocking considering how anxious of a person I am).
Things that were on my anxiety radar are listed as follows:
1) Singing the wrong notes
2) Cracking because I lost my voice last week*
and in a TINY little footnote at the bottom of the page

*maybe forgetting the lyrics but I don’t think that’s at all possible

In my opinion, I didn’t forget the lyrics. I remembered the other part of the song really well. I’m just that dedicated to my craft. I’m amazing, I know.

Very kindly however, the directors encouraged me to have another go at it- and after looking at my lyrics again, I took a deep, grounding breath, and sang my little heart out. And not half bad, in my opinion. While I did cry out of deep, deep, embarrassment afterwards, I am incredibly proud of myself for having the ability to pull myself together after all that and try again.

In summary- there is a possibility your little anxiety footnotes will come true. But they might not be as bad as they seem. I take it as an opportunity to act as if this is rock bottom, and there’s no way to go but up: so why wouldn’t you give it your absolute all? And if the experience really is just as bad as you thought it might be, then maybe you’ll come out the other side thinking, ‘hey, this would be a really good college essay or blog post’.

4 thoughts on “When The Worst Happens By Elliot Rendall

  1. I’ve done that before and it’s the WORST. I’m glad it ended up working out and you were able to gain some positive perspective!

  2. Fun fact: I have a recurring dream about forgetting my lines onstage. I haven’t been in a play since my sophomore year. I totally get how terrifying this is.

  3. Elliot,
    First of all, I am so sorry this happened to you. I can relate, and will gladly tell you the mortifying stories of my own public humiliation in forgetting my choreographed dance steps when trying out for my high school dance team, and the time I burst into tears while giving a speech in front of my whole class. You’re right, though, that we do survive and maybe even realize that while we wouldn’t re-live it for anything, the humiliation is something we can overcome and maybe even grow from? Or, at least have a good story!

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