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This is a question Out of my depth

As a schoolkid, I signed up for a public speaking contest purely as a ruse to meet girls. It haunts me still: in front of 300 people, I started to speak, dried up, stood there for what felt like half an hour staring at the floor and then slowly walked back to my seat. Oh, and the girl I liked laughed.

Have you ever been utterly, completely, devastatingly out of your depth?

(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 15:07)
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speech day...
In my last year of sixth form, i was persuaded (ie. forced) to play the trumpet in the school prizegiving. Even though I'd been playing for 9 years, i was not used to playing solos in front of 800+ people.

To make matters worse, the head,arranged the programme so that I played right after the 11 year old child prodigy pianist who'd just played in the young musician of the year final. After the little kid's standing ovation, my name was announced, 300 students laughed very loudly, and i'm sure the parents were silently pissing themselves too.

I got up, thought "fuck it" and said to the amassed crowd "how do you follow that?" which got more laughs. I started, fucked up after about 2 minutes through a mixture of nerves, sheer heat of being underneath intense lights in full school uniform (top button done up and everything!), and the considerable amount of dutch courage that my mates had plied me with down the local two hours beforehand. I stopped, turned to the guy accompanying me and said "shall we try that again?" before continuing, dying on my arse and just wanting to get off the stage. Once i finished though, i got the most sympathetically huge round of applause and standing ovation, that it made it seem not so bad (even though it was bloody awful).

For the rest of the year, the nicknames "trumpet boy" and "trumpers" followed me round the school...
(, Sun 17 Oct 2004, 17:58, Reply)

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