I frequently listen to the BBC World News on the local NPR station which broadcasts for an hour starting at 9 AM on weekdays. But when I flicked on the radio the other day, expecting to hear the reassuringly authoritative and professional voice of Razia Iqbal reading the news, I was surprised to hear music. And it wasn’t just a sting of music at the end of a story, the music went on and on. Double-checking that the radio was set to WNYC, I figured the BBC must be doing an interview with a musician and went about cleaning up the kitchen.
But when Razia Iqbal finally did come on, her voice was hardly recognizable. She was irritated to the point of petulant: “Well I have no idea why we had to listen to such a long piece of music there!” and then went back to reading the news.
I was dumbstruck. Listening to this woman for years, I have never heard anything even approaching personal emotion, much less unprofessionalism. But before I could dry off my hands to Google Image her, she was back, a dark and almost nasty tone in her voice: “And now we’re going to listen to even MORE of that song!”
The song, The Writing’s On The Wall by Sam Smith, continued. And as I listened to the passionate (soaring and cringing) finale, the lyrics ripped my heart right out of its safe little cavity behind the ribs:
How do I live?
How do I breathe?
Tell me is this where I give it all up?
I have to risk it ALL!
It occurred to me that higher forces had interfered with poor old Razia’s broadcast and I considered shouting at the radio: THAT WAS FOR ME, RAZIA!! I NEEDED THAT! Because in fact, I’m so scared about this imminent pitching thing that I’ve been bloodying my fingertips ripping off anything that resembles a hangnail.
I know I’ve got to give it all up, whatever IT is. The control I guess. THE FEAR. I’m trying to psyche myself out asking: “What’s the worst that can happen?” I’m not actually ‘risking it all’ … cause even though it FEELS like I might die of fear or humiliation, I’m not going to die.
Leave it to another filmmaker to stun me with his crazy logic, my old/new pal Joe who knows first-hand about the path that lies ahead of me: “If fear of pitching holds you back, then it's your life purpose to go and do it anyway no matter what. No matter what the result or fear in doing it.”
My first serious practice pitch is on Friday. I’ll let you know how it goes. Check back Friday night. (Early Valentine's appreciation to all who click the 'Like' button below ... RIGHT NOW.)