Chris Smith Performance Experience Response

1.Describe how you want to experience your next performance. Imagine walking on stage: How do you want to feel physically? What kinds of thoughts do you want to be having? What emotions do you want to experience?

I want to feel unhindered by my emotions. I want my body to feel relaxed yet ready to dominate whatever task is required of me during the performance. My thoughts should be about musical decisions and transitions not on second guessing my preparation. In terms of emotions I would like to experience a rush of excitement and euphoria.

2. How would you like to come across to your audience? What image do you want to convey through your stage entrances, exits, and bows?

I want the audience to recognize me as a professional. I want the audience to understand that I respect them enough to give them my best performance and lay it all out for them and myself. My entrances and exits should be refined, confident, and content with what I am about to achieve and have achieved.

3. Have you recently videotaped a performance and later watched it with a mentor to discuss your stage presence? If not, when might you be able to do this?

I recently watched a recording of my performance with the Jacksonville University Wind Ensemble but not with a mentor. I paid careful attention to my playing while taking note of my posture and facial expressions. I would like to consult with my percussion professor, Tony Steve, to gain additional incite on how to conduct myself on stage.

4. How do you experience performance anxiety? Describe your specific symptoms:

  • Physical

My mouth usual gets dry and I become flushed. In addition to these symptoms my heart rate increases and I sometimes get clammy hands.

  • thought patterns (self-talk)

I usually run over all my equipment in my head (tightening wingnuts, checking clearance, adjusting height of stands, etc.)

  • feelings

I occasionally experience feelings of doubt about my preparation but this is rare.

5. Of the interventions described for handling anxiety in this chapter, which do you plan to work on?

I actively practice meditation and exercise to reduce my feelings of anxiety. I want to incorporate more meditative practices that ease anxiety when I am feeling the most anxious. I am currently trying to meditate daily but sometimes I still become anxious and need something to combat that feeling in the moment.

6. Have you ever experienced discomfort during or after practice? What have you done as a result of feeling this discomfort?

I have experienced discomfort in my practice both physically and mentally. I have had to adjust my technique in the past to compensate for pain in my wrists and ankles when playing drum set. Mentally, I have had roadblocks in my creative practice that I have remedied through seeking out new influences and revisiting the music that inspired me when I was first starting.

7. How often do you take breaks during practice sessions? How long are these breaks? What do you do during these breaks?

I typically take breaks every hour for 5-10 minutes. I like to stretch, take notes on what I observed in my practice, and go to the bathroom.

8. To help ensure a lifetime of healthy music making, what else (beyond taking breaks) can you do to help safeguard your performance health?

I will continue to reflect on my progress as a musician through my practice journals and past recordings. This will keep me inspired and help me to gauge my improvement.

Published by Chris Smith

Christopher Smith is a musician and entrepreneur based out of Jacksonville, Florida. As the owner of CJS Percussion, he crafts innovative percussive art pieces that have been described as organic and cutting edge. He is currently pursuing a degree in Music Business at Jacksonville University under the guidance of Mark Snyder and is studying percussion with Tony Steve. Christopher performs in the Jacksonville University Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Combo, and is the principal percussionist for the JU Wind Ensemble. He is involved with Dolphinium Records, where he is the head of manufacturing and licensing.

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