Silent Night and Stage Fright

Silent Night and Stage Fright...

My song prompt for December is “winter”, and so I’ve been writing about the winter solstice…the longest night of the year.

As a kid, I was afraid of the dark. I would have to feed the horses at night, and I’d often run as fast as I could from the barn back to the safety of our house. As a young adult, fear became a constant companion. I feared pubic speaking, large social gatherings, scary movies, athletics, roller coasters…heck I even feared Fear itself. And so I learned to run from my fears, or at least avoid them as often as possible.

But as I grew older, I came to understand that running from my fears was holding me back from the things I wanted to accomplish in my life. I’m reminded of the scene in “The Wizard of Oz” where Dorothy comes to the fork in the road and has to chose between the brightly lit path and the dark woods. And she knows that the only way home was to face her fears and move through the terrifying darkness. 

I finally decided to walk that road as a late teen with terrible stage fright. It was my first time playing guitar and singing in front of a live audience at the old Village Players Theater in Paw Paw (now the Lucky Wolf). It was a Christmas show, and I was to play “Silent Night”. I sat down alone on stage with my guitar, strummed the first few chords, then opened my mouth to sing, but…NOTHING came out! I tried again…nothing. Then panic set in, which only worsened the situation. But then, this amazing thing happened. The audience quickly recognized what was happening, and bless their souls…they began SINGING. And as I heard their voices I began to relax, and could finally sing the words along with them. 

I realized that night that those folks in the audience were WITH me, not against me. They WANTED me to succeed. And even though my worst fears at that moment DID manifest themselves, they were conquered by that beautiful act of love and compassion. And if it hadn’t been for that Christmas moment, I may have never stepped on a stage again. 

So this Holiday Season, I am THANKFUL for all of you who have supported my music through the years…and if you get a chance, come sing along with me at one of my upcoming shows listed below. I’ll be appearing in South Haven, Grand Rapids, Valparaiso, Florida and Ohio through the winter/spring months. 

Love and Peace to you all this Holiday Season!


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