July 18, 2011 by musehick
Yesterday was a cool day. My wife put together an open mic which had music and spoken word poetry. I really enjoyed it. Now I knew I was going the work that I was listening to but I was dreading actually having to read anything myself. I have been sitting in a shit pit of self pity and stage fright for a while – I had got myself convinced that people were only listening to my stupid English accent and not tp what I was actually saying. Well. It may be true I suppose. What does it boil down to though really? I don’t particularly like the sound of my own voice so labouring under the impression that other people were only hearing that and not the things I wrote.
Everyone was interested in hearing everyone else and sat there listening to everyone read and speak and sing I felt a kindling of the old desire to get up and read. It was good and apparently my reading has improved – I was clearer and communicated more effectively.
Why do I not like my own voice? Well, I think, like a lot of people – I have an idea of what I sound like, or rather I had an idea, and then I heard my voice recorded for the first time and all my illusions were shattered (hmm, sounds a little melodramatic, no?). But anyway, I didn’t like it. I also do not overly identify with the idea of being English – an I am not saying that I have a problem with being English; just that for me it is in no way a defining characteristic of who or what I am. As far as I am concerned my Englishness is a distorted lens through which people view and try to understand me. But the only reason it ever becomes a problem is if I let it.
What does it mean if someone is trying to understand you through one facet of who you are? It just means that they are trying to establish some kind of common reality, I do it all the time. Shorthand ways of knowing people are essential in the short term – they are not obviously great ways to continue knowing someone, but they are open doorways into knowledge.
Anyway, I busted throught the stagefright, and I enjoyed myself – I am looking forward to further nights of spoken word and open mic, and seeing the creative side of people. Everyone had fun and got to see a new side of certain people.