Last Thursday evening, I was trying to look cool on the little stage of a Liverpool pub while preparing for my first ever public performance with a ukulele. I was nervous and waves of heat were passing through my body.
I wondered if I was doing the right thing but it was too late to change my mind. I was smiling as the microphone didn’t seem to work properly and the conversation noise in the pub was louder than my instrument.
When I started to sing my mind was blank. I enjoyed it. I didn’t mind being watched or not being heard properly, or being assaulted by emotions. I was there with my ukulele singing Creep from Radiohead, feeling a bit like a creep myself.
“I don’t belooooong heeeeere” and the song was over. I grabbed my ukulele in my arms. People applauded so encouragingly and I felt happy, grateful and relieved. I did it. I sang for the first time on my own in front of strangers. And those strangers were so kind and supportive.
As I was leaving the stage, I heard more encouragements. “You’ve done well” and “You’re brave”. There is one I’ll probably remember forever: “You’ve got balls”. A ukulele sister bought me a glass of wine. I sat and enjoyed the rest of the performances while feeling proud for having the courage to sing. There was no other solo act that night.
But soon after I felt embarrassed. Photos started appearing (beautiful photos!) and a video which could be seen by anyone online. No one had been mean to me, au contraire, but I felt like everyone was telling me nice things me when they really thought: “What a horrible performance! This woman shouldn’t be allowed to sing or play the ukulele ever again. What a waste of time.” Fear gripped me. For the following days I didn’t touch the ukulele.
The sweetness of those moments turned sour.
Today I have been feeling ill and spending a lot of time in the house. Perfect time to dwell on things. Maybe I should have waited, I thought to myself, until I was better at playing the uke? Maybe my voice was too high? Maybe I should tell the ukulele club to delete the video?
However, I decided not to take these thoughts too seriously and to show you the frightening video. Because, after all, I “got balls”.
Photo & video credit: eekibo photography
Ukulele lessons & event credit: Ukulele Club Liverpool