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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Michael K. Performance Anxiety (92* d) RE: Performance Anxiety 30 Oct 99

Dear Neo, As many have mentioned we've all been there, and know exactly what you're talking about.

My suggestion, is whatever repertoire you plan to take on stage with you, learn every single tune (and all riffs, licks, scales, etc. within each tune) so well that you could literally play them blindfolded, or with your head cut off, every single time you play them.

Then, play them in front of your husband (boyfriend, significant other - whatever), and then have a few friends over and play them for your friends. Then, play them for your teacher. If you can get through all these phases (of playing for different people) then you're ready to go on stage.

But be on stage for yourself first and foremost - NOT for the audience, and don't expect recognition or approval from the audience. Many people (audiences) today are so desensitized to live music (thank you MTV and videos) that if something isn't a technically perfect as what they've heard or seen on TV/radio, they'll tune out, and when you look at the faces at the audience, it will seem like they are looking at you as if to say "Geez change the channel and see what else is on."

Anyone who has ever performed live knows exactly what I'm talking about and have witnessed that "look". Play for yourself for the sheer joy of being able to do so, not for applause or recognition which you may or may not get.

Once you stop giving a shit about what the audience thinks (and not allowing them to intimidate you) you will then be able to relax and enjoy yourself. Hip people and fellow musicians WILL catch what you're doing and THEY will appreciate it.

It's all a matter of self-confidence and total un-waivering belief in yourself and in your God-given talents and abilities. The audience is irrelevant....although it will take you time and experience to realize this. The audience is incidental to what you are doing on stage.

Don't get discouraged. Keep at it, and do it for the love of playing.

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