I really enjoyed last night’s reading at the Belfast Festival and I received some lovely feedback from the audience – despite my nerves! My legs were shaking so badly I was sure everyone could see them. I had a flashback to my confirmation when I had to do a reading in the chapel and my legs were shaking so violently I thought I might collapse. My mind started to wander off into thoughts like this is terrible, I must look stupid, how can I stop this, maybe I shouldn’t have read this poem. But I knew all that self talk and self criticism was making me lose concentration and making things worse. Letting your mind split like that during a performance is like putting a crack in a mirror – it will eventually break. So I told myself the performance post mortem could wait until after the reading and put my inner voice on pause until then, and I focussed on the job in hand – reading the poems. It works for me. I hope it works for you too.
Monthly Archives: October 2011
I’ve loved the readings I’ve done this year with the other ACES award writers Bernie McGill, Maureen Boyle, David Lewis, Moyra Donaldson and Sheena Wilkinson. We’ve alternated the readings between poetry and fiction and it’s worked a treat. There’s a certain alchemy that happens within the group, where without any preplanning we end up reading stories and poems that share thematic links and seem to have been born to sit side by side. I’m keen to see if that magic happens again tomorrow night, Thursday 20th October, when we read at the Belfast Festival at Queen’s. You can read a review of our most recent venture together here.