Wednesday, May 19, 2010

nerves (part 1)

a typical music school recital. just around a few short violin solo pieces, an entire program of 15 minutes or less. i was here a billion times. why did this experience still make me nervous? maybe it's because i didn't practice enough. no, maybe it's because i hate this music, and they'll know i hate it. maybe it's those lights, they're really bright. i can't even see anything with those lights. damn lights. they're like heat producing bright. no, it's probably cause i didn't practice enough. damn it why didn't i practice? ugh, it doesn't even matter anyway that's why. but then now i'm here and it kind of matters, it matters in the way that i don't look like a total idiot when i play these dumb ass pieces. oh, my music teacher is here. i hate it when that happens, cause then you're not just letting yourself down if you fail. you let her down, like if she had something riding on your performance too. maybe she does. like the teacher who needs those kids to get above a certain score on their math regents to keep their job or something. oh well here goes.

tuning my violin was never easy for me. i think it had to do with my violin's pegs sucking. they weren't fluid, it probably could've been fixed with a little oil or something or other if i knew more about the mechanics of wood instruments, but i didn't and didn't really think it was necessary to ask how. i mean when you practice you can take all the time you want to tune, but when you're in a performance and your accompanist is playing the 440 Hz "A" for the eighth or ninth time, you get kind of anxious for those stupid sticky pegs to freaking get in the right place. and then after the concerts over you're just relieved it's over and you forget about that problem until the next solo performance.

i hated those solo recitals.


when i get nervous, it's pretty easy to tell. you can spot it by seeing how often i'm rubbing my hands against my pants. any more sweat coming out of my palms and i'd be freaking hydroman. i'd say the scale from 1-10 of nervousness is approximately logarithmically proportional to the amount of times per minute i'm rubbing my hands against my pants as i await the dreaded moment. the moment to perform.

the times we get nervous are when we allow the possibility that what we present to our audience will be judged in a negative light. if we perceive that the audience will love us no matter what, there's no pressure, there's nothing making us look at what we're doing while we're in the moment actually doing it. nervousness comes from the lack of belief in oneself, and the fear of not being good enough.


there are pockets of time, where there were genuine moments where i was confident enough, or foolish enough, to believe in myself in performance settings to just own what i was doing. those moments are truly out-of-body experiences, where it's like you're watching yourself do something awesome. it's like how i would imagine life would be like if i could clone myself and then remotely control my clone with like telepathy to do the stuff i wanted. i call these moments my "mask"/stanley ipkiss moments, where i totally let go of any inhibitions and really have lost the sensory input of fear.

these moments of fearlessness are when i truly feel like i feel like kicked-in-the-teeth alive, and can just let all my energy unleash. i have inspired, led people, become a source of strength that i am not typically in these moments, with just seemingly limitless amounts of power. yet these moments are very hard to come across, in the sober/sane sense where it actually does something useful.

i feel like there's a mental barrier that i need to push through in order to really tap into this source of energy. constant self-doubt and image consciousness plague my mind. in the past, i've resorted to using an alias, an alternate personality if you will, to try to embody this fearlessness. this has been effective up to a point, where it's almost like that clone scenario i was talking about earlier, except that clone ends up having a separate identity from my own.

anyway, i don't know why i write about these things late at night when i can't fully complete my train of thought, but maybe i'll come back to this later and my recent experiences and thoughts of being a performer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"..while we were still sinners christ died for us.."

i liked this post.. and i would like to offer.. the truth of the matter is that, it's not like we're in a state of default non-failing. as believers, we're always by default failing, or rather sinning, (if you will) - and the truth is Christ died for us while we were already failed and failing.

guess what im trying to say is our failures are no match for Christ's death and resurrection, AND because of His great, unconditional and complete love, we dont need to be consumed over not being good enough or succeeding or failing. regardless, He is more than sufficient and loves us so vastly, so incomprehensibly, that we can never be separated from this love. He will always love us. and thats why we can try and fail.. and get up again. his love, his strength.

and, i know you already know. just a loving reminder. :)