You can worry about something all you want, but in the end it’s going to turn out how it’s going to turn out. Especially when there’s a two-year-old involved.
I’d been stressing about tonight’s MFA thesis reading for the past few days, because I’ve never read in front of a big group of people before — and especially not my own work. I shouldn’t have worried at all, really, because our class is super-tight and super-supportive, and so of course we’d be cheering each other on, loudly and often.
Still, I stressed. I’d picked a two-page scene that was pretty toothsome, and I knew I was speeding through it and thus stumbling here and there. I practiced during a session our class held on Monday, and then a couple times this afternoon with Navdeep giving me feedback. My big mistake? Not practicing in front of Kavya. And in fact, not accounting for Kavya’s participation in my performance.
Surprisingly, or maybe not, I ended being the first name drawn out the hat. When it happened, Navdeep, Kavya and I were all busy chatting with my Writing for Children classmates, and Dhonielle was reading That’s Not My Dinosaur with Kavi. So I bustled up to the podium and dived right in — I didn’t really have time for nerves or worry. And I did stumble here and there, as I had thought I would, and speed through it a bit.
But in the end, it didn’t matter. Because my two-year-old stole the show. She marched right up to the podium where I was already reading, did a little hop-skip number, then hung on to my leg for dear life. Halfway through, she got her gumption again, and peered out from behind the podium at her audience. She giggled, did another little mini-jig, and sort of took a bow. By then I was done reading — but Kavya was just getting started. Unfortunately, her name was not on the line-up for the night, and so it was time to go. But having her up there really took all my stress about the situation away. It just made it funny and fun. And for a first ever reading, it definitely made things memorable — for myself and for my audience.
Anyway, I just want to say, I’m so, so proud of my fellow Writing for Children classmates. You all rocked tonight!
And here’s the video of my reading, complete with Kavya: