Since, one of my job requirements to train up to 200 people at a time, I had to learn how to say more than a few words in front of a crowd. So, I did what any logical, honest person would: I tricked myself. I reasoned: no one comes for me. They want information is a reliable and quick way. My trick served me well. As a presenter. As a teacher.
But definitely not as a reader of my own work. I can't hide behind the material because the material is something I've created. I've invariably gotten ill before readings. Given this little phobia, I was concerned about reading on the radio. Not only an audience, but it was being recorded. I prepared diligently, taking a few hours, marking up my copy, and timing out the segments.
I walked into the booth. Five microphones were perched around a table with a center console where someone was doing a show. The microphones were ridiculously huge. (Why do microphones needed steroids? I wondered.) I put on the headphones, listened to the opening, and started reading.
And I loved it. Not having a visible audience seemed to free me. The interview was a blast; I received great questions from Charlotte Sullivan. When I was done, I had no idea what a said. Good thing it is downloadable from KFAI.
I have a big reading coming up, the launch of Split on March 20th at the Loft at 7 PM. I've invited everyone. You're invited, too. Come on by. See if my new trick works. This reading, I've learned, isn't for me; it isn't even about me. It's about my readers. And knowing that, I'm ready. I hope. I'll keep you posted.