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» Calming Those Performance Nerves, How practice can help

Ronald Roybal   


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Post #1

I have performed for large groups of people many times in the course of my career. Several times, these groups numbered over 500 with some reaching over 1000. It can be a little daunting knowing that the only reason they are all there is to listen to me play my music. Here's what I do to settle myself down. I remind myself that nobody out there knows how to play like I do or they wouldn't be there to see me. Also, no one wants to see me crash and burn, they want to be entertained. Finally, these songs want to live out their destiny and it is important that I get out of the way so they can fulfill their purpose. I then go on stage to give one of my most memorable performances. I just try not to 'overthink' it. My practice regimen prepares me and the songs and gives me confidence to deal with any situation. The songs get to the point where they 'know' what they they need to do. At that point, I am an involved bystander, listening to the songs work their magic on me and the audience. Preparation through practice just allows the song the opportunity to play itself!

http://www.fluteportal.com/videos/310


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harper   


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Post #2

I think another thing we can all relate to from experience.....and its a good reminder. Nerves can be much worse prior to the actual performance. ONce the event unfolds the nerves have a release and things usually go well.


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Hawk   


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Post #3

Really liked your flute in this video Ronald~


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Titmouse   


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Post #4

Ron,

Thank you for these words of advice. I never took up the NASF with the idea of performing. It has always been a very personal journey for me. Recently, however, I volunteered to help out our flute circle. We were asked to peform before a very popular local play (the Ramona Pagent). I will be performing on stage before almost 5000 people. These people are not coming to see me play. They are coming to see the pagent. Nevertheless, it is daunting for me to think that I will be in front of them performing so your words of advice were very timely for me.

The director of the pagaent has asked us to provide "ambiance". He wants us to be "like the wind" i.e. felt but not really seen.

I also want to thank you for posting the link to your performance. The music was beautiful and you make it look so effortless.

Art rolleyes.gif


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jim cook   


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Post #5

great wisdom coming from experience and some tasty playing in the video....


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Just Jim   


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Post #6

QUOTE(Ronald Roybal @ Apr 12 2012, 07:04 PM) *
I have performed for large groups of people many times in the course of my career. Several times, these groups numbered over 500 with some reaching over 1000. It can be a little daunting knowing that the only reason they are all there is to listen to me play my music. Here's what I do to settle myself down. I remind myself that nobody out there knows how to play like I do or they wouldn't be there to see me. Also, no one wants to see me crash and burn, they want to be entertained. Finally, these songs want to live out their destiny and it is important that I get out of the way so they can fulfill their purpose. I then go on stage to give one of my most memorable performances. I just try not to 'overthink' it. My practice regimen prepares me and the songs and gives me confidence to deal with any situation. The songs get to the point where they 'know' what they they need to do. At that point, I am an involved bystander, listening to the songs work their magic on me and the audience. Preparation through practice just allows the song the opportunity to play itself!

http://www.fluteportal.com/videos/310


The one thing I think people don't stop to consider is it's not practicing all the notes and such for a song...
It takes a lot more practice to be able to stand in front of a huge crowd and act like it's no big deal! wink.gif


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Jeff G   


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Post #7

What I do is realize, in the scheme of things what ever I do on that stage doesn't really matter. I am just one person playing music and having fun.


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Just Jim   


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Post #8

QUOTE(Jeff G @ Apr 13 2012, 09:19 AM) *
What I do is realize, in the scheme of things what ever I do on that stage doesn't really matter. I am just one person playing music and having fun.


yes, and I won't deny I'm a bit of a show-off... so I always have fun onstage.
But I have seen friends turn the worst shade of green knowing they had to get up there.
If someone is camera or stage-shy, then they should spend a few evenings practicing maybe in front of their family or friends first. Get used to being watched and listened to..... and maybe more than anything, learn to tune them out if need be! wink.gif

This post has been edited by Just Jim: Apr 13 2012, 05:29 AM


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Ronald Roybal   


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Post #9

QUOTE(Jeff G @ Apr 13 2012, 05:19 AM) *
What I do is realize, in the scheme of things what ever I do on that stage doesn't really matter. I am just one person playing music and having fun.


Everyone has their own way of dealing with the experience of playing for an audience, especially a large one. However, in the scheme of things, in my estimation, it does matter greatly...or else...why do it at all? The audience deserves a great performance, the best that one can muster. The songs deserve to be played the way they deserve to be played. During that time, all attention is focused and all that matters is the performance because the song is here but a little while...and that in itself is a great thing!


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Keith Glowka   


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Post #10

The anticipation of playing is more nerve rattling than the actual event for me. Great video, Ron. It was reminiscent of our last trip to Santa Fe and San Ildefonso Pueblo...where the water cuts through.


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Just Jim   


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Post #11

QUOTE(Keith Glowka @ Apr 14 2012, 12:31 AM) *
The anticipation of playing is more nerve rattling than the actual event for me. Great video, Ron. It was reminiscent of our last trip to Santa Fe and San Ildefonso Pueblo...where the water cuts through.


I've felt this same thing... mad butterflies until I played those first few notes... then once things got rolling it was fine!
It's kinda like jumping into a swimming pool... Jumping in is the hardest, but once your in the water it's great!


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Jeff G   


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Post #12

What I mean, no one dies, no one loses a job, worst case they don't like my playing. The best case, I make people happy or affect their emotions. Is the world a better placecafter I play, I hope so but it really doesn't matter.

It does matter thst I play well but if I do mess up.. not a big deal, shake it off and move on. I have seen MAJOR artists totally screw up on stage. What matters is you do your best, you thank your audience and smile.

QUOTE(Ronald Roybal @ Apr 13 2012, 10:32 AM) *
Everyone has their own way of dealing with the experience of playing for an audience, especially a large one. However, in the scheme of things, in my estimation, it does matter greatly...or else...why do it at all? The audience deserves a great performance, the best that one can muster. The songs deserve to be played the way they deserve to be played. During that time, all attention is focused and all that matters is the performance because the song is here but a little while...and that in itself is a great thing!



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Featherwind   


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Post #13

Hope you guys don't mind me reviving an 'old' topic, but it seemed silly to start a new one on the same subject.

Does anyone have any tips for not so much nerves as all-out terror, and how you worked past it and up to making a performance please? tongue.gif I have always been a very, very quiet and introverted individual and the idea of musical performance always used to just about paralyze me. Upon taking up the flute journey again I do now find myself starting to come around to the idea of playing for others and even wanting to...but I have to get over my big mental block first.

Put me in front of someone with a flute and I completely clam up...I go all tense, my fingers turn to jelly so I can't cover the holes and I get short of breath which doesn't help much with blowing into a wind instrument, that's for sure! laugh.gif

I understand ultimately it's down to me to turn my mindset around and think a gradual, patient approach taking little baby steps will eventually get me there but I'd thoroughly appreciate any suggestions you guys may have, or even just to hear similar experiences from some fellow terror-struck performers would be nice so I know I'm not the only one! wink.gif


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harper   


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Post #14

Its a tough question and situation. But I think just exposing yourself to the situation so the self learning process can begin is important . So playing in front of anyone in a safe and low key place would be good in my view. Allowing yourself to relax and go through a few partial meltdowns and coming out on the other side can be helpful also. The body learns the stress response and just the thought can start the feeling of anxiety in motion. Sometimes "holding back" can cause tension and weird feelings......so let the Chi flow even if its nervous chi.


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Footmandog   


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Post #15

I am by no means an expert at this, but I had a revelation a couple years ago that I wished I had a lot earlier in my life. When you play, you are sharing. Your audience is not there to evaluate you. Focus on the idea of letting people enjoy your playing. Sing to them through your flute. They are not in the mindset of critiquing you.

While not a public performance situation, I especially had problems when I was taking guitar lessons. I would do fine playing at home, but when I played for my teacher, I would be all thumbs. I knew he was observing everything I was doing, evaluating my technique. I couldn't let the music flow. Too much of my left brain got involved. Even though a private lesson necessarily involves evaluation, I would carry over this same focus on being evaluated when playing in front of others.

Years later, when I picked up the NAF and started playing my flute in front of others, I decided to focus on sharing rather than worrying about others picking apart my playing. I am not completely over it, but this shift in focus has helped tremendously.


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DaveNY   


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Post #16

I've been threatening to write a book on Performance Anxiety for Artists for a couple of years. I have a few chapters done but other priorities have taken over. I suppose I'll finish it at some point when I make it a priority.

I suffered from a very debilitating Performance Anxiety since I was in Junior High School all through my college and early adult years. Soon it began to spread to any type of performance, interviews, public speaking etc... And I am kind of a Ham so it was a curse.

I read every psychology book I could get my hands on at the time and tried everything including self-hypnosis yoga and other modalities that were available at the time. I had some success and it would go for awhile to reappear. So it became a quest to understand the energetic/psychological/and spiritual dynamic of anxiety and fear in general.

I no longer have any kind of performance anxiety and mostly eliminated most of my own phobia's and have helped alot of people overcome this and other fears ranging from fear of birds, driving, flying and other anxiety related conditions.

So I am here to tell you that you don't have to suffer from this nor should anybody have to as the technology has significantly advanced in the last 10 to 15 years. There is a field known as Energy Psychology that has made alot of in-roads with medical establishment with top notch psychologists and 1000's upon 1000's of success stories from a wide range of phobia's to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder including field work from 9-11, the Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and just tons of stuff. In many senses, PTSD and performance anxiety have a common theme. Unfortunately, our stubborn medical system is dragging their feet getting this to the public's attention as many soldiers come back with PTSD.

The very first thing you have to do is decide you want to get rid of it and seek out the information. You're in luck since I have the information to offer you. Many, many people never seek a remedy because it's a funny thing about fear is that when you are in it, it is so overwhelming you think there is no solution or you will have to lie on some psychologists coach talking about your mother for 10 years or give you some pill to calm your nerves. You'll be surprised how many professional atheletes take medication to calm their nervers and stop shaking.

Very, very briefly. When you get anxious, you go into what is known as fight or flight. The anxiety provoking situation calls up subconscious memories from the past. Just as somebody with PTSD gets triggered by sounds or other situations. your trigger is usually your instrument and an audience steering you down. When this happens, your energy system based on Chinese Meridian system goes haywire. Your nervous system kicks in and releases adrenaline and tells your body that you are in trouble. Danger Will Robinson. All that needs to happen is to realign the energy that goes out of whack which releases the energy from the past trauma's often from childhood. All the ways and times somebody told you that You're No Good etc... One of the interventions, and there are quite few very simple interventions that can be done by yourself is something called EFT. Emotional freedom Technique created by a man named Gary Craig. It seems to be the most popular and accessible for the layman.

By tapping on points on your body that are located on the meridian systems (easy to locate on the body) while you are experiencing the anxiety or with somebody that can help you locate the problem, you can release the anxiety. I helped a man get over a lifetime phobia of birds in less than 5 minutes. So, it is easy, effective and it never comes back.

Sometimes performance anxiety can be one of the 5 minute sessions but often it can be a little more complex depending on the person and their experiences. There is no dirth of scholarly literature and literature aimed for the layman to do it on themselves. Again, even with severe cases you can make in roads or get somebody to coach you through it. I trained sometime ago so I'm not familiar with all the new books aimed for the layman but if you take a trip to amazon, I'm sure you'll find the latest and greatest. It's good for any type of stress or pain.

There used to be free literature teaching the technique on line but the founder has since retired but I see he has revived his site to offer information. If you have any questions, you can PM me I'll be happy to give you more detailed information but this should get you started.

http://www.garythink.com/

http://www.eftuniverse.com/


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjjI3HioqJk...feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi9EW29TNBo...nel&list=UL

Bruce Lipton, The Author of Biology of Belief

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1Tt0yGMm88

And for anybody that knows a veteran suffering from PTSD please pass this on. Our veterans shouldn't be sentenced to a lifetime of suffering.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA_5T7X0e6k...re=results_main

This post has been edited by DaveNY: Aug 21 2012, 03:03 PM


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greybeard   


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Post #17

A big cup of Kool-Aid does it for me. OH YEAH!


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Hawk   


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Post #18

QUOTE(greybeard @ Aug 21 2012, 07:57 PM) *
A big cup of Kool-Aid does it for me. OH YEAH!


Goin OLD SCHOOL are ya smile.gif I know you're talkin bout the Red Kool-Aid biggrin.gif


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greybeard   


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Post #19

QUOTE(Hawk @ Aug 21 2012, 05:21 PM) *
Goin OLD SCHOOL are ya smile.gif I know you're talkin bout the Red Kool-Aid biggrin.gif



Indeed, you got me Red lipped wink.gif tongue.gif


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Keith Glowka   


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Post #20

QUOTE(greybeard @ Aug 21 2012, 03:57 PM) *
A big cup of Kool-Aid does it for me. OH YEAH!


That's what they said in Jonestown! Yikes!!! ohmy.gif ohmy.gif
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