Bisbee Pride, Days Four and Five
Saturday-Sunday, June 20-21, 2015
On the morning of the fourth day I woke up still unsure of how to transition between performance and workshop, nerves a jangling mess in my chest.
I started thinking about my biggest and most transformative fears then, the ones that changed my life when I worked up the courage to face them. I realized something startling during my tracing down of fears: I’d faced them all on stage.
Thus was born the poem used to transition between the two parts of my upcoming time on stage, a poem I called “Stage Fright”. Writing it taught me something unexpected about the wiring of my brain, though: I equate fear with success.
Ever since I realized all of my greatest successes were born of facing my most terrifying fears, fear itself, or at least its limiting aspects, have become a positive indicator that my life is about to change in the most powerful ways for the better.
All too quicky upon completing the poem, though, it was time to find “The Silver King” and prepare to perform.
Off I went. Before my set, Treasurefruit owned the stage as they gradually added instruments, and with them, the band members playing them for their impressive acoustic performance. The music blended seamlessly with the powerful vocals, and then they stepped back into the crowd.
Suddenly it was time to face my fears again. I firmed my back and stood.
My poetry inspired attention and cheers, especially “Stage Fright”. It was the workshop that would change lives, however. First a kid with paralyzing shyness worked up the courage to ask for advice on how to show others his art, and the whole group tossed out helpful suggestions and helped him feel less alone with his fear by give examples of their own similar ones.
My set wound down soon after that, but there was still another life it would change in a big way.
As I stepped away, one of the audience members took shaking legs to the stage to perform poetry of their own to an audience for the first time. He enjoyed it so much he came up after the last set to perform again.
I felt at the top of the world.
Later that evening, I got to see Treasurefruit and Sister Lip play again, and spent a while getting to know a band member I hadn’t really interacted with before. I also reconnected with a friend in a nearby town who was there to see the band Fairy Bones.
I went to sleep exhausted and happy, and at six in the morning, I was on my way home with only a Bookmans foray to distract me.