Stage Fright – A Quadrille

© RedCat

Heart speeds, thunder in my ears.

Stomach knot’s, getting queasy. Flee, get out of here.

Breaths shallow, fast. Dizziness on top of fear.

Mind panic, doubt rises. Saying no one really wants your words to hear.

Audience cheers.

Slowly nervousness and stage fright clears.


No one except the one in the spotlight knows how much you’ve had to fight yourself to get on stage, or in front of the camera.

And even the most confident looking person might have doubts. I surely do everytime I step in the spotlight, even if you can’t see or hear it.

For example. I was sure my voice would be trembling and so fast you couldn’t hear a thing last Thursday’s Open Link Live. But that, like the doubts and nervousness was only on the inside of my mind.

Anyone else getting a bit jittery while reading their own poetry?

Written for tonight’s Quadrille prompt at dVerse. And the word tonight is knot.

Read other Quadrille’s by me here.

19 thoughts on “Stage Fright – A Quadrille

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  1. I know this feeling, Helene, which you’ve condensed into a neat knot of a quadrille. I’ve read poems in front of live audiences, which really tied me up in knots, and I still get nervous on Open Link Nights! Your reading at OLN Live was lovely and clear.

  2. Well done! I get nervous even making phone calls, so yes. . .but you did not seem nervous at all on OLN!
    My younger daughter used to have a whole song and dance thing going in the green room before her theater performances.

  3. I would never have guessed as you presented your work. On the contrary, I thought you were very poised and confident in your reading. It goes to show that we really don’t always know what lies underneath someone’s composure. You definitely fooled me. Your poem above made me catch my breath and truly resonates. I am a little nervous to read online but I would never be comfortable if we were literally all in the same room. You are not alone, dear lady.

  4. You do a good job of describing that anxiety. I 100% have stage fright in reading poetry in a group of people, even if there is no “reason” for it. It’s strange but in my old job when I was presenting info in court every day the anxiety was gone. Maybe because our poetry is sharing a piece of ourselves and not “just the facts” that makes it very different.

  5. I think public speaking in any form brings nerves to the fore for almost everyone. With time, it grows to be an adrenalin rush!

  6. I have experienced all of the emotions before, I think being on camera and reading would be easier in some ways but then also hard to SEE myself like with zoom. I thought everyone did great I enjoyed watching it on YouTube and hope to make the readings live soon. ❤

  7. This was great! I too get stage fright at OLN, and the thought of reading my poetry on stage makes me nervous, though I would love to do it one day. Your reading comes across very confident, so you obviously know how to keep your stage fright in check!

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