Before performing - What do you do?

Discuss the joys and pratfalls of performance

Postby Tranquillo » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:06 am

I do a crazy amount of things before performing. Sometimes I am too absorbed in organising the performance that I have no time to be stressed or nervous. At the same, at other times I felt overcome by nerves. Sometimes I'd talk to a person performing at the same venue. I know some pace around, others like to fiddle with small objects.

It varies from performer to performer. I would be interested to know what others do before a performance.
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Postby Tranquillo » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:22 pm

Some I have talked to do sensible things like stretching and deep breathing, others enjoy extremes slaps across the face from all members of the band, some drink excessive amounts of water then go to the bathroom continuously, some like to eat chocolate or some kind of comfort food ... It would be interesting to know what others do before performing ... any rituals?
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Postby Tranquillo » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:47 pm

... I get the feeling I am talking to myself.
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Postby 112-1182392787 » Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:54 am

Becibu, it's been over a year since I've had any performance opportunity because I have not been able to afford lessons. It is frustrating.

My last performance consisted of a set of variations by Pachelbel, and a chorale movement by Tchaikovski, which I performed after 2 months on piano, first time instructions, and a hiatus of several decades -- I had not touched the piano since being a teen. That brought out a couple of issues which led me straight to PEP, in fact. Above all, I was worried about being able to produce a series of change chords that crescendoed from piano to mf and back to p, without ending up with inaudible or unbalanced notes. I did not have the control yet. I got some answers through Dr. Huang's article here.

I like to be super-well prepared, knowing the piece inside out technicaly, structurally, and preparing it for the same. Most of my practice time goes in that direction. When it comes close to performance time I go into "performance mode", practising it as though for an audience. Teddy bears and stuffed dragons are wonderful listeners. :D People walking in and out of the room, clanging distractions from outside, or invisible listeners outside the window are handy at this point.

When it comes really close to a performance I get very quiet and internal. I've wondered if it is like that for others. I don't necessarily want to play the whole piece anymore. It's like it's running through my head. Suddenly I find myself making a beeline for the piano and working something out in this or that. I'll play it straight through once, then go through some details.

There is something that I wondered about. My teacher likes to go through the piece many times just before the performance. It feels almost like psyching yourself up. I find that for me, it drains me. It's like performing prematurely. This happened before the last performance, fortunately in the morning. I went home, carefully built my piece up again and gathered this energy. Since then I've talked to people and there seem to be two camps. Some like to play a lot just before the performance, and others like the opposite.

For the performance itself, I read some teachers saying that they like to put students in the Green Room so that they can chat and not be nervous, and away from the atmosphere. I would really hate that! When I'm in choir I try to stay away from the chatty choir members because I want to stay centred for the performance. I like being in the audience, becoming part of the atmosphere. Again it's like a kind of highly alert quietness, I guess. I don't feel tense, but after the performance I feel like I'm relaxing from something.

Do you feel wired and psyched after a performance, needing to take a walk or have some kind of outlet? Or is it just over and done with?




Edited By pianissimo on 1231610246
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:10 am

Becibu wrote:... I get the feeling I am talking to myself.

You have good reason for that. These forums are read by FAR more people than the number who contribute regularly. I'm happy that people want to read, but those who just read are missing out on SO much. Just about anybody can make meaningful contributions - and help themselves and others in the process! A forum in which thousands read and only a few contribute isn't worth the time to administer and run. :)




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All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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