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Life Lessons from Michael McLean

I had done my fair share of performing. When I was going to BYU, I would perform every weekend in Provo anywhere I could. Open mic nights, restaurants, house parties, and even Color Me Mine, a local date destination where couples learned how to paint together. When I was at the peak of my performing life, I headlined a show at BYU-Idaho in front of a thousand people, and I thought that was big time.

But this was a whole new level.

I had been signed to Deseret Book, and was working on my first Christian record, “Miracle,” when they called me and asked if I would perform for Women’s Conference at BYU. I was excited until they told me it would be in front of 15,000 people! My stomach dropped. I had never performed for that many people before. I told them I would, because it was an amazing opportunity, but inside I was still freaking out.

“What if I mess up?”

“What if they don’t like me?”

Those kinds of thoughts plague all of us at one time or another, and this was one of those times for me. I told myself it would be alright, and started working on my set list.

When the night of the performance came, I was hanging out backstage with the other performers. Debra Bonner’s Unity Gospel Choir, Gentri, Hilary Weeks, and even Michael McLean was there. I was friends with most of the performers already. Hilary Weeks, with her dry sense of humor, made me feel a little more at ease.

I was in a little side dressing room in the Marriott Center near the stage, panicking a little bit, looking at myself in the mirror wondering if I could pull this off, when Michael McLean walked over to me and started a conversation. I’ll never forget what he told me.

“They already love you. Just go out there and give them a good show.”

His words of encouragement gave me the boost I needed, and I went out there and performed my heart out.

The audience loved it. Michael was right. They’re not there to throw tomatoes and have a horrible time! They’re there to enjoy the show with the people they love. The audience is always on the performers’ side.

And there’s no need to be nervous.

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