Stage fright and muscle memory

Yesterday I was talking to a self published author. He said he had not yet found his public voice. He mused surprise that I could sing in front of others, because I comment regularly about my shyness.

I am in a special category of shyness. I call myself an “out-going introvert.” I’ve been calling myself that since my first Meyers Briggs many moons ago.
I told him as a young adult I had suffered from stage fright. It came on me suddenly and I had not expected it, so I was quite surprised.

The story goes like this: I found a band with amazing musicians. I’m not just saying that. They went on to play with Reba McEntire. I had made friends with these guys and they invited me to sit in. It had been a while since I had been on stage. I was solid for the first few seconds and then my mouth went dry, my legs about collapsed from under me, and I forgot every word.

Every word.

I stopped singing. Everyone in the club stopped talking and looked at me.
The band stopped playing. I stood there for a second and then I got off stage. People looked at me with pity. Then someone clapped my back and gave me his condolences.

I didn’t go running off, crying my eyes out. Nope.

I was happy.

I was happy because I knew it would never be that bad again. I could only go up from there. I knew it was just nervousness and nervousness can be overcome. I knew if I had practiced more, my body would go into muscle memory when the nervousness hit.

I had gotten the worst performance of life out of the way.


That, my friends, is when you know you’re suppose to be a singer.

Fear isn’t dangerous. It just feels like it.

It should never be the only reason you don’t chase your dreams.

Make a plan. Gain some skills. Proceed.

Namaste, my friends.



About PamelaDevine

Pamela Devine is a singer songwriter, fine artist, and filmmaker. View all posts by PamelaDevine

2 responses to “Stage fright and muscle memory

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