This is what my life has been for the past few months: Stage Fright. And if you’re in Melbourne on Saturday - then check it out! I’ll be there, so come say hi. :)
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The Story Behind Stage Fright
In October 2011, my dear friend, Phuong, approached me with an idea. She had recently taken up the violin after years of wishing and wanting. Her dream was to have the courage to perform in front of a live audience. However, her stage fright held her back.
Determined to confront this fear, she began forming her own little orchestra, to ease her into playing in front of others. Soon enough, there was a small group of her musical friends gathered in her lounge room every week for rehearsal. As the orchestra gathered momentum, she decided she wanted to branch out beyond her lounge room — and aim to perform on a stage before an audience. She wanted to empower other shy, yet determined, performers to step out into the spotlight, too.
So she came to me and told me she wanted to hold a small event — perhaps in her backyard or the local park — that would give a chance to all these musicians to perform in front of their family and friends. She wanted me to help her.
It was then that I suggested she include artists as well. I’ve always been a strong advocate for the exposure of hidden talent, especially when the artist has been doubtful of their own ability. Plus, I have long battled with my own stage fright of pursuing my own artistic endeavours. With my input, we decided it could be a performance/artist-hybrid showcase.
With just the two of us in the beginning, it was a slow start. Neither of us had ever done anything like this before, and we had no idea what to do. In addition, our lives were both at mess at that point, and we weren’t even sure if we could pull it off. But sure enough, things started coming together. Phuong raided her entire contact list, and began recruiting enthusiastic helpers.
Before long, our little project had become a full-fledged event. Phuong was the Director of Operations, and I was the Creative Director. We formed a Creative Team, a Performance Team (with an extremely talented Music Director), and even a Fundraising & Promotions Team. We had meetings twice a week. We created ad campaigns, and a website. We held events to help raise money for the cause - since we were paying for this entirely out of our pockets. We had a garage sale, a masquerade ball (and sold out all 210 of our tickets!), and a raffle drive. We partnered with Able Australia, closely supporting their cause, and glad to find a charity to which to donate our proceeds. We recruited artists and performers of all kinds to appear at the event. We hired out a venue. Our performers began busking weekly at Camberwell Market, and were extremely well-received. There were performance rehearsals on a regular basis. We were able to gather a host of sponsors, all glad to give us vouchers or donate goods to our hampers (which will be raffled off as prizes).
Along the way, we all became more and more inspired by the message of Stage Fright: that it is only your fears that stand in the way of your creative expression. We gained exposure from friends and strangers. We gave interviews to a paper and a community radio station.
Now, 4-5 months after the initial burst of inspiration, the idea has become a reality. This Saturday, Stage Fright will be held in Melbourne. There will be singers, musicians and dancers performing on stage throughout the day. There will also be art stalls lining the walls of the venue, featuring the artwork of artists, photographers and handicrafters - as well as a small exhibition.
I will be selling a small selection of my prints, a limited edition collaboration poster, and will be auctioning off an original piece created specifically for Stage Fright. Proceeds go to Able Australia.
When this project started, I was in a strange sort of limbo, unsure of what to do with my life and where I wanted to go. But being part of Stage Fright reminded me that I loved creating art, and that I loved being able to inspire others. I have grown enormously since then.
I am so extraordinarily proud of everyone part of this project. Over the past few months, I’ve seen them transform so much. Through the determination of a bunch of such talented people, we’ve managed to put this together. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the most awesome people around. I am honoured to be part of something so inspiring.
I don’t know how the day’s going to pan out, and I don’t know how many people will turn up. But regardless of the outcome, I already see the event as a success. To have something like this form from literally nothing at all, is a pretty reasonable feat in my eyes. And no matter how it turns out, I’m so, so proud to have been part of it all.
So, in short: I really hope to see you there. :)
“We all know fear. But passion makes us fearless.” - Paulo Coelho
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- danabower said: i love the colors (as always) so beautiful!
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- jjjiraffe said: If I lived in the southern hemisphere, I”d be there! Have a wonderful time!
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- kinasaur said: Good luck with it everybody! I was invited to enter work into this brilliant event but alas, finances kept me away. Sending you all good vibes for the big day!
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