A Note on Stage Fright

Dance

Stage fright, contrary to what the name suggests, does not always have to do with being on stage. Stage freights only becomes an actuality when one is in front of an audience, of even one, open to judgement and evaluation of the negative kind. No one is a perfectionist but everyone is armed with the emotions of shame and embarrassment and that qualifies every human being to some degree of stage fright. In clinical terms, stage fright is known as social anxiety, where some people (more than others) have a heightened sense of fright (due to an overactive fright and flight reaction) on the front of social interactions and occasions that bring about a sense of negative evaluation to the senses.

Although I have lived with social anxiety for a fair degree of time, I have largely come out of it, due to toning down of fear by passive conditioning. In other words, I have let nature takes its course, and largely wipe out my fears with time, and not force social interactions with the want of conditioning myself for societal liaisons.

Many people have social anxiety at varying degrees. One of sister’s friends cannot take phone calls and always needs someone else to do the initial work on the phone before she is comfortable to talk over the phone. I too couldn’t take a phone call without hyperventilating, and being short of breath and words was a handicap in my day-to-day activities. Now though, after years passed, with “let-it-be” the ideology, my senses have calmed down, not to get nervous at social interactions.

Still, due to my life being in the spotlight, and under surveillance 24 hours a day, I’ve had to live with a different kind of stage fright, the one which is exacerbated by being watched in all things you do. One of the areas that affected me most was sex – or the idea of having sex with people watching me using technology. The fear of not being able to warm my tools up for consummation became a worry and I told this one day over dinner to two of my school friends – Sajith and Sean. I guess they never anticipated a guy with a PhD being scared of having sex. Sajith responded by saying that only porn stars are not scared of the act of fornication whenever they wish to and that all men have some level of worry that at a given occasion their package may not have enough vasodilation inside.

Anyway, during our dating days (Michelle and I) when we fumbled around, my system was working fine and when it came to the honeymoon, as soon as we were in the hotel room alone, I wanted to get it over with, after all waiting meant I would have anxiety dripping in my head. Any movie buff who has seen “40 year old virgin” can relate to “first-time anxiety” akin to Steve Carell’s character, who keeps on postponing having sex, for the fear of the first time. I too had that but Michelle’s presence and courage together eliminated that emotion and although it took us 3 days to consummate our marriage, we had figured out the diversity of sex during the first two days of our honeymoon. Stage fright although present did not have a major role to play in my final ascent to making love.

Even now, when we sometimes make love, stage fright does creep in during the most surprising moments and it has sometimes made more foreplay being needed. Still, I have been able to get my head and heart moving in the same orientation, over barriers laid by man and technology, to get on top of the wild mare and make her gallop for a ride to heaven. Sometimes, we just need to be ourselves, to avoid the pitfalls of stage fright and when you have a woman who is beautiful and willing, it does make life all the more easier.

When you are under constant surveillance, you can never forget even for a moment that you are alone and only being in this ‘crowd of watchers’ I have achieved some of my dreams, like making love to a woman. I haven’t had an easy life for 10 years now. People who are reluctantly on the camera stage, are not actors, just men and women going about their business under the merciless eye of technology.

At the end, I not only became a reality star in life, but also became a porn star when I lost my virginity, thanks to technology. My only hope is that this will never happen again in the future – not in another million years. After all, the first time is a beautiful thing, when you lose your tethers and dance to the tune of another’s body. Dancing I learnt is just like a Patrick Swayze song – after all a woman is just like the wind. She will blow and knock against your body with freewill and when that happens man becomes a slave to her antics.

Stage fright is not an Achilles heel but a source of courage, after all in every man there is a Perseus, who can tame any number of gorgons in life and free the Andromeda in you from chains. After all, we are given the fountain of bravery to sprinkle inside in order to navigate the fearful horizons. Courage is not, not having fear, but not letting fear ground you to a vegetative state. After all, you don’t need dress rehearsals to life, just a dose of “Laissez-faire” will do.

 

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Published by

meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He was also awarded the prize for "The emerging writer of the year - 2016" in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka for his first collection of poems (Kite Dreams – A Sarasavi Publication), while being shortlisted for the poetry prize. Dilantha is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, and shares his experiences from two different cultures. He blogs at - https://meandererworld. wordpress.com/

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