You’ve Got A Nerve Nerves!
When I was 5 I landed a part in my class play, I didn’t so much land a part as everyone in my class was given one, but I prefer landed. I don’t remember what the play was but I was cast as a tree. It’s fair to say I wasn’t central to the play, trees after all don’t talk or even walk, but I took the part seriously. I studied trees, I watched the way they swayed in the wind and asked myself “what is that tree really thinking?”
The big day came, my teacher wasn’t happy with my swaying movements she said it was “too distracting” and instead I was to be a still tree. I hadn’t practiced “still” but I prided myself on my ability to adapt to the requirements of the part. I peaked around the curtain as is the way and was met by a sea of overexcited looking parents wielding cameras and daft grins. I went from being cool, calm, collected tree to I need to wee tree. I can remember walking out, I can remember taking my place, I can remember feeling dizzy and then I can’t remember anything else. Despite being given the lowest ranking part on offer I managed to steal the show by fainting – win?
Last week I got a call from a TV producer asking if they could interview me about being a Stay at Home Parent. We spoke at length; I was calm, confident even. And then she asked if she could send a camera crew to my house in two hours time for a show that would air that evening. I came over all 5 year old tree-like. I spent 30 minutes hiding mess, not actually dealing with it just hiding it. I spent a further 30 minutes alternately drinking water and going to pee. I spent my last hour watching stand up comedy in the hope some of their quick wit would rub off on me.
A hip young gentleman armed with copious amounts of bright lights and an abnormally large camera turned up and started setting up. A chair was placed in the middle of my living room, the chair was then surrounded by the bright lights and one abnormally large camera. I tried to explain to Max that if he could be really, really quite for the next ten minutes then he could have any Thomas the Tank Engine train that his heart desired.
I took my place in the hot seat and was told not to look directly at the camera but just to the right. “You mean you want me to look at your nipple?” I then had a phone placed precariously on my lap and the questions were asked via a speaker phone I could barely hear – essentially I was being interviewed by a very quiet nipple with Max in the background screaming “Daddy, Daddy” as though he was being mutilated. Hardly ideal but a good workman never blames his tools, even though I just did.
After the nerves had dispersed, I waited patiently for the usual sense of relief to wash over me but it never came. Instead I was angry at myself and wanted another crack at it and for a lifelong nerve sufferer that represents progress.
Have you ever suffered from nerves? How do you combat them?