Emma Hollingworth: My head is alive with stage fright

Sing a long a sound of music
Sing a long a sound of music
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The eldest is about to tread the boards as she makes her debut in the Sound of Music in just over a month’s time, where she is playing one of the many Von Trapp children.

However, you would think it was me who was about to take on such an exciting event as I am far more nervous than she is.

In her eight-year-old head this is just a normal part of being a child. One day you are playing snowball fights and building snowmen in the back garden and the next you are in a starring role in front of hundreds of pairs of eyes.

Great to be so laid back, you might say, but actually she is so laid back it is driving me crazy. When I ask her to go through her lines she gives me a withering look and sighs: “Why do I need to do that again? It’s boring.”

When I protest because she doesn’t know them all yet and start fretting she only has weeks to get this polished, she just condescendingly pats my head and tells me I worry too much and she’ll be fine.

But I wake up night after night fearing the same thing – she will be on stage and will freeze as her line evaporates from her head and everyone will be staring at my daughter wondering why she is in the musical at all.

In my nightmares I try to shout out her lines to her but my voice is gone and all I can do is watch in horror.

To combat my fears I spend hour after hour prompting her with her cue lines and I know I am driving her crazy. But I just want her to get it right.

To be fair the other children on stage with her are just as blasé about the whole thing. Most spend the time on Kindles or mobile phones playing games when they are not needed in rehearsals. I just wish I could be as calm as them.

All I know is there is no way my heart will survive another production like this so I think my daughter’s stage career may be short- lived – for now.

If she really takes to it then I will suggest she waits until she has left home. Then I can just enjoy going to watch her without all the grief of the endless rehearsals and worries over lines being learned.

The only other danger with this is that my daughter now thinks being famous is a career option for her. She thinks by being in this show she is somehow famous.

She doesn’t believe me when I say you shouldn’t strive for fame.

Fame, if you really want it, should be something which comes as a result of the hard work and not the thing being sought, that way she will always have talent to fall back on. But persuading my daughter hard work is the only way to get on in life is a difficult battle at times.

If there is one thing I hope she learns from this process is that things don’t come easily.

That you have to do things over and over again to get good at them and you have to be prepared to do things which are hard or even boring.

I want her to understand above everything else that if you work hard at something you really want, your efforts really will pay off.

I took her to the front of the Town Hall the other day and pointed out all the stars on display in the pavement – the Sheffield Legends.

I said these were people who were all famous for their own individual talent, through sport, writing, business or even music.

I wanted her to know it is their individual talent which they will be remembered for and not the fame.

Now I have asked her to come up with other Sheffield people who she thinks are worthy of such a star.

Sheffield City Council is asking people to nominate now who they think should be given the next legend, with a closing date on February 22.

Visit: www.welcometosheffield.co.uk