What if I blank out? What if I repeatedly stutter like some insane repeating parrot? What if my computer crashes and everyone has to stare at me instead of my slides for an hour? What if I turn beet red and sweat starts streaming down my face? And my mascara runs and then I can’t see? Note to self, wear waterproof mascara. What if I bend over to pick up the stack of papers that I’m certain to drop, what with the sweat and mascara blinding me, and I split my skirt or fart or flat out faint!
Easy girl, I’m panting like my Siberian Husky in a heat wave. Breathe, channel that calm little engine. I think I can, I think I can, I know I can, I know I can… But what if the reckless train crashes because it’s inanely chanting instead of watching out for the sharp curves ahead? What if an audience member asks me a question that I don’t know the answer to? There I’ll stand, like a deer in the headlights or standing smack on my track in my case. Bam, slam, exit stage right, headlong into the precipice.
Focus, Focus. Maybe I’ll try some of that visual imagery psychobabble.
Wait, that’s just the ticket that this lost little engine needs. I’ll just imagine that everyone in the audience is butt naked and I’m the only one dressed. Toot, toot, all aboard! If you’re not on the train, you’re off the train. There’s a pretty picture. Everyone’s buying tickets. It’s standing room only.
I scan the room, chuckling inside, my confidence building. Wowee, what was Mary Rose Flanagan thinking getting that leprechaun tattoo by her bikini line? The wee lad is up to his eyeballs and he’s not rolling in clover. Forget searching for the pot o’ gold, he’s in need of a weed whacker. And yikes, who knew that John Silverman needs a man bra? And speaking of breasts, I just knew that Ann Campbell had a boob job! That takes perky to another level. Those girls could give someone a black eye if she turned too quickly.
But wait, who is that in the first row at the end. Gasp! This express train stops right here, right now. Jason Wright is even better than I imagined. In fact, there is nothing wrong about him. He doesn’t have too much body hair and there is not an ounce of flab on him. Plus, just like I imagined, he has a gorgeous little inney belly button, and there’s direct evidence that he is a natural blond. Next stop, PARADISE!
What the hell! I’m starting to salivate and growl. Maybe I have rabies. I’ll be tearing my own clothes off any second now that I’m so lost in my little mind game. I’ve not only derailed, I’m headed straight for the scrap pile.
STOP. LISTEN. Remember, you are the conductor. You know your stuff. Breathe, yes, breathe. Simple but true. A few deep breaths actually help.
I am prepared. No need to panic. I’m back on track. Heading straight for success.