To Speak Easy or to Speak Easier? by Isabella Hansen

Since I am a senior in Creative Writing, I should be a pro at public speaking and performances. Unfortunately, before our annual poetry show, “Speak easy,” I felt nerves twist inside my stomach. Since the pandemic occurred, I have only been able to participate in two poetry shows on the main stage. While one would imagine that performing in front of hundreds of people rather than one hundred would be more daunting, I felt a strike of nerves I had never felt before. 

I imagined who would be sitting in the audience. My family, of course. My friends, maybe. My old Chemistry teacher? Probably. One common misconception is that we sit and write for two hours within Creative Writing. However, our curriculum is more robust than that. Throughout my years in CW, I have learned public speaking and performance skills that have helped me throughout my life. As I stood behind one dark curtain, I felt my hands shake from nerves. While I’m sure most of it was internalized, I felt an absurd amount of pressure. Since it was my last poetry show as a student in Creative Writing at SOTA, I needed this show to be perfect. But as I paced around in circles with friends backstage, frantically chanting the lines in my poem, I realized that this show was not the final moment of my high school career. It was the people I met along the way. I will never forget my cohort, who have made the past few years of my life so special. While the show ran smoothly and everyone was great, my favorite part was the last bow I took with my friends on stage. And if you missed Speakeasy, come check out Speak Easier at Manny’s!

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