It's been over a month since I performed/presented my TEDx talk. The month leading up to it was nerve-wracking, as you may remember. About 24 hours before my performance, I had a very calm feeling (thank goodness). I felt like I had worked hard on it, and I just let go. I spent the day of the performance at the TEDx event, enjoying the morning presentations, painting my nails (to relax!), and meeting the other TEDx speakers and audience members. At lunchtime (which was amazing, btw), I enjoyed speaking with several people who had traveled across state lines (some from Delaware!) to see this TED event. At the time they didn't know I was speaking, and it was really interesting to hear their opinions about the other speakers. Of the morning group, it seemed many people really enjoyed Andrea Olson's performance, which I took as a good sign that they might enjoy mine too, since we both utilized movement as a way to help tell our story.
I spent several hours preparing for my performance: makeup, hair, costuming, and more than an hour of stretching, plus some last minute rehearsing.
You can click on this picture to get a close up version of the makeup/sparkles that everyone keeps asking about
And when I was sent out to do my thing? I did it. No more, no less. I felt straightforward and settled in my performance.
Usually when I perform, I have a very good idea of how I did. I usually know what mistakes I made, I have a general feeling of nailing it, or things to improve in future performances, or (most commonly) that it was okay, but I could have done better. This time, with no prior performances similar enough to compare it with, I just felt like it was done. It was surprisingly unemotional for me.
With no immediate access to video, I had to let go. People's feedback was super supportive, and the thing I was worried most about (telling a story that no one would relate to) turned out to be an unsubstantiated worry. Many people came backstage to hug me and tell me I made them cry, and that my story felt incredibly similar to their own. I was told my performance yielded one of 2 standing ovations that day. People thanked me for being so open about my experience. My school buddies overwhelmed me with not one but TWO incredible bouquets of flowers. All in all, I felt, simultaneously, supported and supportive. Very peaceful.
I had devoted so much time and energy to TEDx that once it was over, I had to focus all my attention on finishing the last part of the school semester. My performance was all but forgotten.
Tonight, the edited video was released; the first time I've seen it. My reaction? I did it. I'm pleased. I worked hard on it, practicing, practicing, practicing (THANK YOU BEN, my love, for so much help!)...and there it is. Happy.
I uploaded it a couple hours ago to facebook, and it's been exploding with supportive comments. YOU guys rock.