GOLDEN RULES FOR CONQUERING PERFORMANCE ANXIETY

While preparing for our remodel and cleaning stuff out, I found these on an index card that I’d made up for myself that was stuffed in a drawer. From reading it, it seems that I got the actual rules from somewhere and then I wrote my own comment on it. So – I’m going to share it here, in part so I can throw away the card. 🙂

  1. You have practiced to the best of your ability.  Trust your autopilot (aka your technique) to work.
  2. Do not judge what happened or will happen.  No “What was that?” thinking!
  3. Don’t second-guess audience reaction. Please yourself only!
  4. Be in the music, in the moment. Be on stage, not in the audience. Be in the giving mode, not the receiving one!
  5. Single out one aspect of your playing that is your #1 priority (before going on stage). Breathing? Expressivity?
  6. Enjoy! Let your emotions and excitement for the music be present.
I just googled the title on the card. It came from musician David Leisner. For more of his take on the subject (much of which I paraphrased, although “what was that” thinking is something I say frequently), feel free to read his article.

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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