I've been performing for most of my life. It all started when I got the lead in the 6th grade play and Donna Fuhst paid attention to me for the first (and only) time. She walked past me after the show, patted me on the back and said, "Good job, Marc." After that I was hooked on show biz.
As a kid and even early in my acting career as an adult, I would get so nervous before a performance that I would pace the floor incessantly. At home, backstage, anywhere I happened to be, I'd pace... until the curtain rose and then I'd be fine.
Those nerves calmed quite a bit as I grew more experienced.
Then, when I started ring announcing, they returned. My first gig was an ESPN Friday Night Fights show. I was so nervous before hand that I barely ate and spend most of the day with a bad stomach. Not butterflies, but outright distress. Of course, once the bell rang, I was calm and gave a solid performance.
Whether I was doing a club show or ShoBox, I'd still get antsy, although not to the degree mentioned above. Then a few weeks ago, I worked a ShoXC card. I'm very critical of my own performance, but thought that show was one of my best. I realized why. I wasn't nervous. It was the first time I can remember going on stage and being completely relaxed.
This week, I did the undercard for ShoBox. The day of the show, my stomach was all a flutter. It was ridiculous. I wasn't going to be on TV and the venue is fairly small. I've played arenas, ten times the size. I had a slight cold, so maybe I was concerned my voice would give out, but still, I only had to make it through 5 fights.
It drove me nuts all day. There was no logical reason to be nervous, but nevertheless I was. Once the fighters were in the ring I was fine and gave a performance I was proud of -- especially because the last two fights had to be rushed in order to get them in before TV. I made my announcements very efficiently and told the fighters and their corners to get out of the ring. One decision, we didn't even tabulate and read the scores, the commission simply said, "unanimous decision, Avalos."
The show went great and as usual, I had nothing to be nervous about.
If I'm that anxious and/or pumped before a show, I can only imagine what a boxer is feeling before a fight.
This week's Through the Ropes will feature Mike Arnaoutis, who will be on Friday Night Fights the following evening. We're still working on a second guest. Any suggestions, leave a comment here.