Can't Shake It Off - Nadia Minamoto (Poetry)

In this debut poem by Nadia Minamoto, our first writer from Japan, she describes the sensation of suddenly feeling stage fright, even after many years of performing.


Do you feel it too or is it in my head?

Questions without answers,

Pull me down like an anchor.

Do you understand me or is it too late?

An actor without lines

And it happens all the time.


Everywhere I go,

I'm a girl without a shadow

A flooded archipelago,

Reduced to a cameo.


Can't shake off the fear

Of failing, it's crazy.

It's been so many years

Without stage fright,

It's just not right.

Once I was a buccaneer,

So fearless, so fearless,

Help me persevere,

I need this, I need this.


Nobody sees what's really wrong,

I keep it a secret

So I don't regret

Everyone thinks I can't be sad,

The happy comedian

Inside is screaming


There's no way to be satisfied

Until I stop searching for divine,

Open myself up to wicked critics

Be ready to swim when the ship sinks.

"Come on now, don't be afraid,"

That's what they all say.

But I think it's better to be afraid,

And to just do it anyway.


I can't shake it off

I can't shake it off.

All I see is the mistakes I've made,

The ones I'm making now,

And the ones I'll make one day.

I can't shake it off

I need to rebuild myself with hope

But I don't know if it can be done.


Please say that it can be done.

I need to shake this off.

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