Anna Nugent

When my husband mentioned that a friend was thinking of suggesting me to fill in for one performance of a musical, I was simultaneously thrilled and terrified. I love to sing, but I consider myself an actress who sings, not a bona fide singer. The friend put me forward and the next day I was chatting to the show’s creator getting all the details. It was Monday and the performance was on Sunday! I was excited.

I read the script, watched the video of the last performance, listened to the tracks I was going to sing over and over. The mornings heading into college I learned lines and songs, and tested myself in the evenings. On Friday and Saturday, I watched rehearsals and studied the performances and then came Sunday. Throughout the week there were numerous times where I was very tempted to back out (even on Sunday I contemplated it), but I knew that performing would be good for the soul and that at the very least I could help cover the story.

I mean, why not me? My internal monologue was in full battle mode, but all of a sudden I was on stage and it was time for me to sing. I was working with a great group of people – talented musicians and performers – and I knew that if I just trusted the work that I put in and the people around me, that it would all work out. There were moments of suspension when the one voice “who the hell do you think you are, what are you doing?” was drowned out by the heart saying “trust, we’ve got this” and moments when “I don’t know this” won out. It was a great challenge for me. My heart, however, grew. Not just from facing the fear and getting on with it, but from sharing that experience with this lovely and generous group of artists. Watching them do their acrobatics, witnessing their level of trust had an impact on me. Though I don’t think my heart could take another big act of courage too soon, I’m very grateful for the experience and for that trust fall of the performance. So thankful!

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