I'm always telling the kids at school that confidence is about pretending. Most adults, I say, who look supremely confident, in whatever field, are having to battle doubts. Anyone in the public eye, on a large or small scale, has to find out for themselves how to appear calm even when the bowels are grinding like the innards of Vesuvius and the mouth is as dry as a drunk's on a Sunday morning.
If only I would take my own advice. I'm frit to bits, as my Granddad would have said.
Tony Blair once admitted that, before the weekly Prime Minister's Question Time, he was petrified. No one believed this; he made it look easy. In his autobiography, he confessed that he had taken to drinking too much in the evenings to cope with the day-to-day challenges of being PM, much of which was about pretending to be confident about his decisions. I think we can see why he was afraid.
'Petrified' is an interesting word, if a little cliched as a metaphor for fear. That didn't stop Gloria Gaynor belting it out, though, and making a pretty penny.
Here are some definitions:
Ah, yes. These are the things performers and politicians alike are afraid of. Being converted into a stony replica, deadened, and stunned with terror.
Looking on the bright side, this would be a fabulous act. Move over, Houdini. Here comes the Incredible Petrifying Woman. I think I might start my act tonight by saying, 'If you want me to carry on telling jokes and doing silly poems, laugh as much as you can. If you'd rather see a novelty act in which a rather plump woman is turned into a stony replica, hold back with the laughs. You can laugh afterwards when she is taken off the stage on a large trolley by a confused charity event organiser who thought he'd booked a poet comedian.'
|Fran was just trying to remember the punchline to the joke when terror overtook her|
and saved her the trouble.
Right. I'd better go and rehearse a little more. I forgot about tonight for a full five minutes there. Result!