Angela, the PR manager, is not a musician. Instead, she has gone on stage to perform as a dancer and, more recently, as a cosplayer, which means she crafts the costume of a character of popular media and impersonates said character for a scene. On November 2017, she decided to attend a hobby convention in Spain called “Salón del Manga de Barcelona”. Upon noticing on the website of the event that there would be a cosplay competition about the videogame The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, she decided to sign up. She thought it would be a local, small competition held in the stand of the company that created the videogame, because the event hosted at least two other contests that were way bigger and more advertised. She was even more convinced when she noticed the competition would take place on the first day, which was the one with less visitors.
When Angela arrived to the venue, she was told the competition would take place in the main stage, located in front of the tables shared by all the food stalls, at lunch time. That meant the audience would be at least ten times bigger than she had expected. When she was taken to the backstage, she found other fifteen cosplayers, her competitors. Several of them had portable staging, detailed props and excellent costumes that implemented several crafting techniques, which is a very important factor in cosplay judging. Angela felt underdressed and underprepared, and she was about to bale out. But she had made the costume, mixed the sound for her presentation and created the choreography all by herself. If she turned back in the last step, she thought, she would betray her own dedication and will to create and express herself through cosplay. She would be doing a disservice to her art.
At the end, Angela won the individual category of the contest. However, the biggest victory was the first step into the stage, the moment she dared to believe in her craft and skill. The moment she took the decision to make a performance good enough for fifty to be good enough for five hundred, and put all her energy and focus into owning her spot and captivate the audience.
Artistic careers normally include such baptisms by fire. They are challenging times, experiences that can be discouraging or distressing, but the key is to be aware of your strengths and trust yourself in what you can do. And if the situation definitely surpasses you, it is ok! It just means you have more to learn, not that you are not cut for the role. Stand up, take a deep breath, and keep cultivating your skill. At the end, your work will always stand by you.