Just before our spring break, SHOUTOUT hosted our annual V-Day performance. I know some of you are probably thinking “y’all had a valentine’s day performance in March?” or ” a vagina day performance??”… because that’s totally what I thought it was upon first hearing it. V-day is actually a worldwide movement to end violence against women and girls (or anyone who falls victim to gender-based violence). As soon as I learned the meaning behind this event and found out that we still needed a ton of people to sign up to perform, I immediately thought “NOPE!” Although I’ve been in my Feminist Blogging class for half a semester now, I’m still soooo new to this whole “feminist” thing. I didn’t want to embarrass myself with my ignorance on this subject, so I avoided eye contact with my professor as she searched for volunteers to perform or emcee the event.
Actual footage of me in class:
It didn’t work. The room was silent so I looked up to see my professor smiling at me with wide eyes…..she wanted me to be the emcee. It’s important for y’all to know that I HATE public speaking. Not to mention, I’m the opposite of “serious”, so I really didn’t want to mess this event up by nervously stuttering and laughing in a panic at my mistakes. With all eyes in the class on me, I thought “oh what the hell???” and decided I would be the emcee! (YOLO amiright people?)
I left class kind of on a high because I WAS FINALLY STEPPING OUTSIDE OF MY COMFORT ZONE! Then I had another CRAZY idea… why don’t me and my extremely talented singer/songwriter roommate perform a song together?!?! Singing in front of people has always made me so nervous, so this was definitely out of my comfort zone too (YOLO x 273744). And before I knew it, I was hosting and singing in SHOUTOUT’s annual V-Day Performance!! *nervously starts sweating*
Finally, the day of the performance arrived and I was quite anxious. So many things were running through my mind. Was I feminist enough to perform in this? What about HOST IT? What if I get somebody’s pronouns wrong?? (I’m still new to this but I’m trying very hard!) How were the friends that I invited to support me gonna react to some of these performances? Are they gonna be checking their phones constantly wanting to go home?? This was all new territory for me, and I was nervous, to say the least.
The show was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Bad-ass feminists took the stage, one after the other, and it was MAGICAL. I had never felt so proud to be a woman, and so excited for my future as a feminist. Performing in and emceeing such a powerful event was an experience that I will absolutely never forget. The room was flooded with support and people who genuinely cared, making this performance unlike any I have ever done. The other performances that I had the honor of witnessing were raw and real and necessary. These performers were addressing topics I had never heard discussed in person, at least not as openly as they were discussed there, and in some some instances, it quite literally took my breath away. Coming into that night, I really wasn’t sure if I would connect with many of the things people would be addressing, but at times, I found myself holding back tears.
And remember those friends that came to support me? The ones that I was scared would be uncomfortable or just want to go home? I’d look over at them throughout the night to see them wiping their tears away. They absolutely loved it. I learned after the performances that some of my friends were also worried beforehand about being able to connect to such powerful topics, but they admitted that they eventually became overwhelmed with emotions just like I had. We all agreed that we would DEFINITELY be returning next year.
My friends and I to the V-day Performance:
I’ll leave this blog post with a few words of inspiration:
“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.”
― Shannon L. Alder
And check out these previous SHOUTOUT posts about V-Day for a better idea of what it’s all about!
– This one is from another performer’s perspective in the past!
– Here’s another AWESOME one by @FemmeFatale
Featured Image from: http://www.manassascity.org/calendar.aspx?PREVIEW=YES&EID=9077