I remember my first slam performance with a huge audience who all came to watch Sarah Kay. I was doing a poem where in middle of it I had to sing one of the most popular songs of Eric Clapton, “Tears in Heaven.” And because I was so nervous, I forgot the damn song and screwed my poem. For a while, standing aloof at the stage I swear I would never do this again. But after I finish my poem, as I came down the stage, I told myself that I stint like this should not stop myself from what I want to do. And then, there was no looking back. I did my poems whenever they asked me to, wherever I had a chance and I’m happy that I didn’t let that stint affect me in any way. Actually that incident has succeeded in topping my list of the most amazing memories till date.
I think every one has to go through an incident like this. Every performer needs to screw up especially by forgetting lines. This helps you to strengthen ourselves. Not only by making us careful and prepared for next time but also by providing us opportunity to reflect about what we really like/enjoy what we do and whether we should continue doing that or not. I think when someone fails like I failed at that time, we have two choice. Either to stop or to brace ourselves and continue. Both ones are hard to do, the latter being the harder as you have to go through the experience all over again. We might back down or we continue to fight.
Today in QC Awards 2013, slam poetry competition for youths aged 14-21, a friend of mine took turn in forgetting her poem. Unlike in my case, the audience couldn’t help her out besides cheering for her. She took her time and despite wanting to do some other poem, she stuck with the same poem. I was so proud of her at that moment. Because she decided to continue, to fight. And finish that poem. And now, this is a test for her I think. Whether to take that moment as a lesson to learn for and become stronger or a lesson to learn for and change her track. It’s totally her decision and whatever she decides, she can relax because we are there to support her.
Sometimes, it’s just not your day to shine. And yet you shine in someway or another. So, do not lose hope my friend. Do not give up. It’s in your hand to either make this the most dreadful time you ever had or the most amazing memories you ever have (like me ;)). I know you are great, and you will always be.
P.S. We are extremely sorry that we asked you to do that poem. ❤ and huge hugs 🙂