For those of you who don’t know, I’m a rotational musician/leader at church, and I’ve been spending the past seven years finding myself as a musician and as a writer/creative person in general. As a musician, one of the biggest things I’ve had to tackle is stage fright. If you’d known me before freshman year of high school, you’d know that performing arts wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do.
Eventually, thanks to some epic people, I experienced a very personal paradigm shift due to her who would be my vocal coach “volunteering” me to audition for a competition. Until then, I’d always view performing arts as simply that. Unfortunately, I only was looking at the surface. Performance is a lot deeper than knowing the tools, techniques, and tricks of the trade — at least it should be for anyone truly invested in it. From the audition, I was selected. I didn’t place in the end, but there was a journey that occurred—really a nurturing—that pulled out the innermost parts of me that were creating my fears.
Were my fears eliminated? No, but it was the start of something: realizing that performance isn’t just about the script. Before that nurturing took place (to my voice and to my soul), I was a very scripted guy. I was into math, sciences. Arts and humanities? Ugh. Socially? Spiritually? Scripted, too. I followed the rules, tried to stay out of people’s way, didn’t question things I didn’t like. I also played “Christian” and bought my own game, when in reality, I had no clue what the love of Christ really means.
“What if I say something wrong, and that cute girl in class just laughs, or the other guys bully and shun me? What if I don’t have perfect pitch and they boo me off the stage? What if I make a bad judgment call and God sends me to hell?” These were all questions I asked in the back of my mind but acknowledged as no more than mental hallucinations—I didn’t really accept that those were questions I had. How then could I know if there were answers, what they were, or that I was asking the wrong questions? Because in the end, really, I was asking the wrong questions.
I admit that sometimes I return to the script, and I still get stage fright, but now, I know better than to do that. Even though God wants us to follow Him, be holy, forsake sin, He’s not looking for a script, and He doesn’t kick people when they’re down. He is a Father, so He disciplines His children, but He is not an abusive Father. He’s not looking for an excuse to keep us from crowding up Heaven. That’s not who He is, and since He is what we really need as fallen humans, He doesn’t give us a script.
What’s your script?