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Thread: Performing

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    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Default Performing

    I'd like to ask those that enjoy performing for an audience (be it amateur, professional, improvisational, on stage, off stage, whatever), to share their experiences.

    What is so enjoyable about it? How do you not feel daunted by the fact that soo many people are watching you, expecting something great, and you have to deliver? How do you have the guts to think that you can entertain them for an extended amount of time? That you are worthy of their time? How do you determine if you're skilled enough/if your act is good enough? And how do you put together your act? What makes you decide on the elements? Etc, etc.

    for those needing confirmation: I have stagefright
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    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Second attempt:

    For that matter, when someone puts on a show (like for instance, the singing in the karaoke box in vent, or even more serious, on a stage and you've been invited to come watch), what kind of expectations do you hold? What makes it worthy of your time?
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    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    I moderately enjoy performing. For an ENFP, I guess I'm a little more on the shy side...but nonetheless, I always come to a point where I'm practically dying to express myself. I have been in one musical and one play so far, and after working over the stage-fright of especially the musical, I had an experience like none I have ever had. There's nothing better than you, the stage, and the audience...the things you can do to make an impact on them...it's an exilerating experience.

    Performing also ties in with musical acts, too. I play lead trumpet in my school's Jazz Band, and have a few solos that I wasn't too keen on playing..and still aren't...but I think after a while, everything gets to be second nature and becomes apart of you. Just another way to vent creativity. I love it.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

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    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    I've played guitar on stage about 3 years back. One of the worst experiences of my life. The Bass guitarist forgot to tune his bass. The drummer forgot how to play so he improvised. The vocals didn't sing well at all and I was shaking tremendously which made me mess up at some parts.

    Sorry that this info won't help you overcome stage fright. All I can say is that you have to perfect everything that you're going on stage for and hope you don't mess up. Also, if you mess up no one will really care unless you do something that is unforgettable (like fall off the stage). If your confident in what you are doing, stage fright goes quickly.

    Regarding the audience all you really need to do is entertain them. They want to be entertained and you provide the entertainment. And providing the entertainment is supposed to be fun for you.

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    I don't have stagefright. I'd rather not perform in front of people but if I have to do it, I'll get it done. But alas, I've never had to perform something artistic, other than formal school-related presentations, so I guess my experiences with those are not valid in this case.
    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    For that matter, when someone puts on a show (like for instance, the singing in the karaoke box in vent, or even more serious, on a stage and you've been invited to come watch), what kind of expectations do you hold?
    I try not to have much expectations beforehand, rather a hope that I will enjoy the performance. Of course I expect to be entertained or experience something thought evoking by a performance, that's what they're supposed to do. But I guess the main expectation would be that the performance adds something to my life, makes me feel and think about something.
    What makes it worthy of your time?
    Seeing a professional, or an amateur, who is deeply involved in what they're doing and who do it with real passion and soul. Observing something like that is very fascinating and rewarding. Seeing a perfomance that maybe makes me see some things from a different angle or adds more depth to my previous understanding. Seeing a true talent and the enjoyment that the performance brings to them and to myself.

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    Oh I meant for it also to include improvised acts like EXXPs often do, as well as school assignments, work-related presentations etc. Anything where you have to address a crowd (even a speech at a wedding) for an extended period of time and have to keep their attention and make it worth their while, in whatever way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    I'd like to ask those that enjoy performing for an audience (be it amateur, professional, improvisational, on stage, off stage, whatever), to share their experiences.

    What is so enjoyable about it? How do you not feel daunted by the fact that soo many people are watching you, expecting something great, and you have to deliver? How do you have the guts to think that you can entertain them for an extended amount of time? That you are worthy of their time? How do you determine if you're skilled enough/if your act is good enough? And how do you put together your act? What makes you decide on the elements? Etc, etc.

    for those needing confirmation: I have stagefright
    Performing is fun when you realise it is not about you but about the audience.

    For me the audience is like a large dumb loveable beast. And when you have its attention you can take it where you will.

    And the audience responds in kind and thinks it's not about them but about you. And they lift you out of yourself.

    So you lose yourself in the audience and the audience loses themselves in you. And all are lost in the performance.

    Until the spell is broken and we are left in triste with only ourselves to blame.

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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    What is so enjoyable about it? How do you not feel daunted by the fact that soo many people are watching you, expecting something great, and you have to deliver? How do you have the guts to think that you can entertain them for an extended amount of time? That you are worthy of their time? How do you determine if you're skilled enough/if your act is good enough? And how do you put together your act? What makes you decide on the elements? Etc, etc.

    for those needing confirmation: I have stagefright
    I'm socially introverted and don't care to be the center of attention, but performing is an important part of my profession as a musician. I tend to focus on the meaning in the music and the inspiration that comes from the connections made between a composer long past with a performer and an audience. There is a shared experience that crosses time, culture, and individuals which reminds me we are not entirely alone.

    I still have times when I wonder if what I offered was good enough. My last gig ended up requiring me and another musician to improvise non-stop for close to forty minutes. I wasn't able to get them to commit to a rehearsal ahead of time either. People responded positively, but my own critique of it left me pretty disappointed. It was pleasant music, but with forty minutes, it should have been more than that. I mention that anecdote just to say that no matter how many years of experience or training, every gig is not going to go ideally.

    When I have a little more control over the situation, I prepare relentlessly. If I play for an orchestra or a solo recital, I have practiced until I have every note memorized and can play it under all variety of external stresses. I start early, prepare exhaustively, so that the whole process can go easy and relaxed. I make sure there are no emergencies.

    I went through a period of almost incapacitating stage fright. I have found there are no tricks you can play on yourself with self-talk or imagination. The bottom-line is that you have to practice performing. It is a unique skill separate from the skill of playing an instrument. Fill in the steps. What are the requirements of the performance you are preparing for and what are you able to do right now? For my master's recital, I performed it six times before the final performance. The first time I took my harp to a park where people could hear me, then I played in the background for a restaurant, and then for friends. Next was a nursing home, then a community center, a church, and finally the recital hall. Fill in the steps and increase the pressure each time.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
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    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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    i don't mind being on stage but i wouldn't want to give a speech.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I'm socially introverted and don't care to be the center of attention, but performing is an important part of my profession as a musician. I tend to focus on the meaning in the music and the inspiration that comes from the connections made between a composer long past with a performer and an audience. There is a shared experience that crosses time, culture, and individuals which reminds me we are not entirely alone.

    I still have times when I wonder if what I offered was good enough. My last gig ended up requiring me and another musician to improvise non-stop for close to forty minutes. I wasn't able to get them to commit to a rehearsal ahead of time either. People responded positively, but my own critique of it left me pretty disappointed. It was pleasant music, but with forty minutes, it should have been more than that. I mention that anecdote just to say that no matter how many years of experience or training, every gig is not going to go ideally.

    When I have a little more control over the situation, I prepare relentlessly. If I play for an orchestra or a solo recital, I have practiced until I have every note memorized and can play it under all variety of external stresses. I start early, prepare exhaustively, so that the whole process can go easy and relaxed. I make sure there are no emergencies.

    I went through a period of almost incapacitating stage fright. I have found there are no tricks you can play on yourself with self-talk or imagination. The bottom-line is that you have to practice performing. It is a unique skill separate from the skill of playing an instrument. Fill in the steps. What are the requirements of the performance you are preparing for and what are you able to do right now? For my master's recital, I performed it six times before the final performance. The first time I took my harp to a park where people could hear me, then I played in the background for a restaurant, and then for friends. Next was a nursing home, then a community center, a church, and finally the recital hall. Fill in the steps and increase the pressure each time.
    Alright, I guess it's time to share.

    I've always had stagefright. But, I've found it easier to surpress when I'm actually unaware of the audience, oddly enough. I remember having to perform (I play the flute) for my grand jury exam when I was 11, in a big empty concert hall with the judges at the very end of the room. I had been playing these pieces for weeks (my music teacher made sure of that) and I was sooooooo bored of them, that I hardly practised at all anymore at home. Just before I had to go on stage, I played all through them just one more time and felt a bit nervous. Once on stage however, the light blinded me, making it impossible to see the room, and, I had to focus on the pianist who was to support my music. I also automatically focussed on the music sheets, and pretty much forgot where I was. As a result, I blew them away (my music teacher was utterly annoyed with that as he knew I hadn't been preparing in the way I should've according to him).

    Compare this however to my exam for singing and well...it was a disaster.
    Again a grand jury, but this time in a normal room, with them just sitting at a desk. We were required to bring three pieces, 2 of which we were allowed to prepare ( I had to sing 'Carmen' of all things!). I practised for weeks, as I very much enjoy singing, it relaxes me. The third one we were to study while the person before us was taking their exam. I was incapable of concentrating, as I was *so* nervous. Hence, I was unable to learn the third, simple piece. At all. Full mental block. I came into the room and my voice trembled, I no longer had control (and my god, can it be shrill when yo udon't have control). I sounded like a cat in pain, and I knew it. I could hear every wrong tone my voice hit, with absolutely no control. I even forgot how to breathe or just swallow, something that comes so naturally. And of course the 'performance' of third piece was the perfect ending to catastrophic exam. My music teacher, who loved my voice (to the point where you got a bit paranoid about it), asked me afterwards: *what* in gods name happened???? I was unable to reply as I was still trembling. These days, even in an empty karaokebar, with only the dj present and the staff, and the dj singing along with me, I still am not able to control my voice and the sweat is gushing from my back.

    I love singing..but only to myself. I don't consider myself nearly good enough to perform before an audience. And this applies to giving speeches, making presentations, singing, dancing, performing in every way. I consider it ridiculous to ask for people's time and concentration when what I have to present is not up to standard, imo. It is only when I am able to forget that there is an audience (like when a conversation automatically turns into a show, i don't care about being at the center of it as it feels like a joined effort, or like when i can concentrate on the craft I'm performing and am not confronted with the fact that there is in fact an audience), that I can actually perform at my very best as the pressure is just taking off my shoulders.
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