I looked for help on what was then this growing source, the Internet. One article that seemed to resonate with me was by composer/guitarist David Leisner. You can read the full article here, but I summarized the 6 rules on notecards that I apparently kept handy for me to refer to in the event I did have a performance or audition. I found 3 or 4 of them in a folder marked “performance anxiety.” I also put each rule into my own words so that it would mean something to me. Here are the rules – Mr. Leisner’s words are in bold, my “translation” in italics below:
- You have practiced to the best of your ability.
Trust your autopilot (aka your TECHNIQUE) to work!
- Do not judge what just happened or will happen.
No “what was that?” thinking!
- Don’t second-guess audience reaction.
Please yourself only!
- Be in the music, in the moment.
Be on stage, not in the audience; be in the GIVING mode, not the receiving one!
- Single out one aspect of your playing that is #1 priority (before going on stage)
You can’t address everything. What do you want to focus on? Breath? Expression?
- Enjoy! Let your excitement for the music be present!
You perform because you have a passion to perform. Nothing else matters.
Is this an issue for you? How do you deal with it? How can I help you? Just ask. I’ve been there.