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Public Performance: Over My Head: The fear of 20,000 eyes upon you
Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Feb 19, 2012. 1087 views. ID = 5411

Public Performance: Over My Head

Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Feb 19, 2012. 1087 views. ID = 5411
This post was written in 17 minutes.
It's not as easy once you're out of your comfort zone
This post has been awarded 16 stars by 4 readers.

As a young lad, I took a class that the youth director of my church held on how to lead a choir. As the assistant pastor, he also led the choir during the Sunday service and then on the evening service with no choir, he would lead the congregation when they sang. Somehow, he convinced the pastor to allow me to lead the songs during the Sunday evening service. The evening service was always light with maybe a third of the parishioners of the morning service. The evening service was less structured, more relaxed and as I had known most in attendance all my life, I grew comfortable in front of them. Another plus was that most of the hymns were in 3/4 time and so easy to lead with the classic hand movement.

The assistant pastor was also involved with the 'World Wide Church of the Open Door' in downtown Los Angeles and as his guest; I went to a few events at this historic place of worship. The church was built by the J. Vernon Magee who started Biola University and thus was housed in the middle of its vertical campus thirteen stories high. The massive auditorium held 10,000 people with three levels of seats.

One evening I went with him to a huge rally at the church, before the service he took me onstage to introduce me to some of the celebrities in attendance. I was in so much awe when Billy Graham shook my hand and patted my shoulder that I have no idea what he said to me. Both Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were there, she even hugged me. Then Reverend McGee came up to me saying that he had heard that I led my church in song and then invited me to lead the congregation that night. I felt honored and readily agreed. As I sat on the stage with all these honored guests, I watched this massive room fill to the rafters and the first stages of stage fright began. When it was time to sing I stood behind the dais and when I spoke into the microphone I froze at the sound of my voice booming out across the audience. Unable to speak or move I stood there starring out at all those people and suddenly there was Dale Evans beside me asking me if she could help lead. With her help, somehow, we got through that first hymn and the next time we sang I was able to lead them all. After it was over, I felt a euphoria I had never felt before, and I wanted more, I even committed to attending Biola U. after high school but alas, a boy grow up, dreams change and never again was I on that stage of the big church.

Copyright 2012 R. Wesley Lovil. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 16 stars by 4 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Public Performance

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