Much like a breakup, the roller-coaster of emotions experienced while waiting in the wings comes in stages. The difference? Emotions that are typically spread out over several days are packed into a few fitful minutes as you wait for your entrance. In the wings, time feels like it’s moving in slow motion, as you deal with blinding spotlights, your heart pounding in your ears and a costume that won’t stop digging into you in the wrong places.
Here are 16 thoughts performers have while waiting to go onstage:
1. Is my mic on?
2. Oh no. I need to pee. Again.
3. *IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWWWWN*
4. I might puke.
5. Wait, I think I’m OK.
6. Is there a bucket somewhere in the wings? Just to be safe.
7. If I fall off the stage, I wonder if the front row will catch me.
8. Did I turn off my curling iron/hair straightener/oven?
9. I hope my hands dry out before I have to pick anything up. It’s like I’ve taken a shower.
10. Is that my mom? Oh, she’s seen me. Mom. No, Mom, stop waving! This is not my elementary school recital!
11. I’m a terrible hack. What am I doing here?
12. Is that guy in the first row picking his nose?
13. Wait, did I miss my cue?
14. What’s my first line again?
15. I’mamazing, I’mamazing, I’mamazing, I’mamazing.
16. I am freakin’ Beyonce! I was born for this!
And just like that, you’re off, making your entrance with the conviction of a general charging into battle. Your momentary panic is forgotten the minute you set foot on that stage. And the feeling of that first step is magic, every single time.