AUGUSTA. GA ( WJBF) — Stage anxiety is an obstacle some people find hard to power through, but for Tarika Holland, a local performing artist, being on stage is where she feels alive.

“I dealt with a lot of struggles as far as bullying and people teasing me and things of that sort. It was a lot to overcome and move past that in high school. My love for the art surpassed all of that,” said Holland.

Holland’s passion for dance and poetry allowed her to be vocal in ways other avenues could not.

“It just gives me a different outlet to express whatever it is that I need to express or tell whatever story that needs to be heard,” said Holland.

Photograph courtesy of: Christopher Shipman

Where there is smoke there is fire and Holland’s early childhood sparked a flare in her heart for fine arts.

“Well I feel like art has always been a part of my life especially in my childhood. I have early memories of dancing to early 2000’s music on the radio. Even in elementary school I took art classes. I love books and things like that as a child so it’s always been a part of my life,” said Holland.

With Holland’s childhood laying the foundation, her being a student at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School was the catalyst to her burning desire for performance art.

“I just didn’t know it was called art like this is a formal thing and people do this and then I auditioned for Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School. I was inspired to audition after I saw the Black History Show and it was just like a whole different world opened up,” said Holland.

Photograph courtesy of: Christopher Shipman

This door to a different world did not only expose Holland to different ways of expressing herself, but it led her to making some tough decisions.

“I had to make sacrifices to train outside of school you know. I didn’t have the luxury of or the privilege to take classes outside of school or go on this trip. It’s like either go on this trip or you take the classes and I always chose my art because that’s what I wanted and that’s what I love the most,” said Holland.

Even though sacrifices were made, Holland had to push through some days that required self reflection.

“I started to do it for myself and for my love, my passion versus doing it because I wanted to impress this teacher or I wanted to impress these students. Or, even people tell you that you can’t and they doubt you. Sometimes that be your reasoning, but once I really started doing it for myself and for the love of it and to inspire others I think that’s when it came a little easier,” said Holland.

Holland learned that being on stage can either cause you to confront your fears or cave in.

“You forget everything that’s going on in the real world and you are able to tell these stories and even connect with the audience,” said Holland.

Holland’s childhood and art classes laid the groundwork, but following a successful performing artist is the blueprint.

“FKA TWIGS. She is a musician, dancer. She does some of everything. When I was younger specifically in like middle or early high school and I was getting more comfortable with my style, how I move, and even my artistry and my appearance. I was introduced to her by one of my classmates and I had never felt so understood and seen. I felt like it was okay that I move this way. I never seen anyone that I could relate to like that,” said Holland.

To keep updated on when Holland is performing, check out her website for more information.