I submitted a proposal for a presentation to be included in the Red River Women's Studies Conference at University of North Dakota, and I was accepted. The conference is held annually and I presented an academic paper last year, but this year the conference is accepting creative presentations so my proposal was to do a reading from my sci-fi/chick lit WIP.
Imagine how excited I was when I was accepted into the program. Yay! I get to do a reading!
Today I received the schedule of events and I am the only creative submission in the entire conference. The only one. Everything else is hoity-toity academic stuff. Suddenly I feel seriously out of place, like a black sheep, like a silly little piece of fluff amongst the academic heavy weights. A sampling of the other presentations at the conference finds such offerings as:
"Community Circles: Unveiling the Gap Between the Realities of Domestic Violence and the Paternalistic Assumptions of the Adversarial Process." (what does that even mean????)
"The Evolution of Western European Feminism and its Relation to the New Left."
"Gendered Discourses of Stability and Change: Women Communicating Wisdom."
And then you see me on the schedule as: "Excerpt from a Science Fiction Novel."
I am so outclassed it's not even funny. Not only have I never done a creative reading of my own work, but I am not an actress. How am I supposed to make these characters come to life like they are in my head and not sound like a complete moron in front of all these academic types? They probably don't even read fiction unless it's part of the "canon" and written before, say, 1950 (preferrably 1900). I can't compete with the canon.
I'm really thinking about backing out because I don't have nearly enough confidence to pull it off.
Anybody else ever found yourself in a similar situation? How did you deal? Run screaming from the room and hide in a dark corner hoping it would all just go away? Or did you face your demons and pull off a victory?