Posts Tagged ‘recital’

Stage Fright

Butterflies, cold feet, stage fright, nervous tummy — we’ve all experienced it. I have come to expect that sort of nervousness from Elliot before a big day or before a performance. He feels it, and he talks about how he’s getting nervous, etc. Zippy doesn’t really care that much to get very nervous — maybe he doesn’t even realize the potential of messing up on stage and doesn’t really care that people are watching him…, and Chloe has always seemed like it doesn’t really matter to her since in her viewpoint she’s the only person on the planet — and when you’re the only person on the planet, it doesn’t really matter that you are on stage.


Last night at Chloe’s cello recital, she experienced and expressed nervousness for the first time ever. And it was so severe that she was frozen in her steps!

I must say it was the funniest, most exciting thing I’ve watched in a long time. Stage fright is so amazingly typical for kids on recital night, and quite frankly, Chloe and I don’t have many typical experiences, especially when it comes to her emotions.

You will get the pleasure of watching the video below — just over 2 minutes of video of a girl scared stiff and refusing to hold her cello and her bow followed by her 6-second musical performance on which she did a fantastic job.

I am proud of the job she did! She pulled herself together for her recital piece. But it’s the 2 minutes before her piece that totally fascinate me. Had Paul started the video a couple of minutes earlier, you would have seen her less-than-speedy trip up the 3 stairs to the stage. Her nervous legs and feet were like lead refusing to move. I coaxed her up the first 2 steps, and then she just stopped– a frightened, frozen statue destined to a life forever stuck on the stairwell. The teacher came over and joined in the coaxing, “Just one more step, Chloe.”

She successfully, finally made it to the top of the stairs, both feet planted on the stage, and again she froze. Absolutely frozen stiff in her boots. Fear, anxiety, nerves almost visably wrapped around her skinny little legs, making it impossible for her to proceed a step further. When my coaxing and begging no longer worked, I gently lifted her little feet off the ground and scooted quickly and smoothly to the bench in the middle of the stage where I gently plopped her scared little body.

She sat, growling, with her arms wrapped tightly around the top of her head and refused to touch the dreaded cello which would play the dreaded beautiful music which would cause the audience to explode in dreaded uncontrolled applause. In the video, you will see the teacher and me working hard to convince Chloe to hold her cello and bow. You will see Chloe repeatedly wave Hello to the cello, to the bow, and to the piano, one time even greeting the bow that she’s wearing in her hair — bow, bow … see what she did there? You will see the very expensive and fragile cello nearly crash to the floor; you will see me finally, desperately tell the teacher to just go to the piano and start playing in hopes that Chloe will snap to it. Thankfully that plan worked. Chloe played her piece, jumped up for a bow, and even graced her patient audience with a second sitting bow. Success.

Sweet, entertaining success. I. Loved. It.

And Chloe survived (if just barely) her first solo recital.


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