Ever since I was a child, whenever I had to go on stage or perform in any way, my heart would thump so hard, I would think it would just rip out of my chest, run away and hide somewhere. That would happen every time, but the show would still go on. I would perform to the best of my abilities while trying to hide my nervousness. I would feel sweat escaping every pore, and I would think at any moment, I would just do something extremely embarrassing. I still feel this way, although now I’m not scared of being embarrassed. At least not as much. I’m not really sure where the nervousness comes from, but it just shows up like an uninvited guest or a pimple, and the only way it could go away is when I’m done with what I’m supposed to do.
Ever since I was a child, whenever I would be done performing or speaking in front of a large crowd, I would have the most intense of energy. A rush would start to attack every limb, I would think if I don’t keep moving, all that energy would just explode. I would keep moving as much as I could while trying to appear as calm as possible. I would feel some sort of steam being released from every inch of my skin, and I would think at any moment, I would do something ridiculous. I still feel this way, although now I don’t really care if I appear calm or not. At least not as much. I’m not really sure where all the energy comes from, but it leaps in like a perfect ballerina in the most melodic way. I don’t want it to go away, but I just keep moving until I can’t anymore. I keep moving.
A perfect example of these feelings were when I ran for student council president in High School. A Haitian girl with then a very thick accent, standing in front of hundreds of American students in Newark, NJ. You can only imagine! Years later, these feelings return in a variation of ways whenever I have to be in front of a crowd, and it was no different at the Pamela Quinzi show on last Wednesday. My heart went from racing to thumping. Then it was all relieved when I was done. Right after the show, I had this burst of energy. My compadre Aissata and I walked around Soho for hours, going in and out of bars, window shopping, and dancing in the merry streets of New York City.