Performance Experience Isabella Martinez

  1. I want to enjoy my next performance. When I’m performing I usually get really fixated on my technique. Am I going to be able to hit the high E flat correctly? Is my phrasing okay? Am I emoting? What am I doing with my body? Do I look awkward? The next time I perform, I don’t want to think about any of that. I have to trust myself and know that I have prepared enough, and all I have to do is get up on stage and enjoy. I want to be able to be in the moment, relaxed, not thinking about the audience or what anyone will think of me- I want to become a conduit for the music, a vessel that it flows through. And whatever mistakes happen, I don’t want to get linger on it or beat myself up for it. I just want to let myself enjoy the music.
  2. I want to come across as confident. I’ve been working on my posture a lot lately. I slouch my shoulders a lot- I think it’s a confidence issue. I want to walk on stage with my shoulders rolled back, chest out, and head held high. I want my audience to think “Oh yeah, she knows what she’s doing”.
  3. I also think that I leave my performances quickly. The last time I performed in voice lab, I left the stage and sat down so quickly that Beasley had to call me back and remind me that I needed to stay on stage for feedback. I think I usually get really relieved that I got through a performance that I forget to take time with my bow and give my audience the proper thank you. The next time I perform, I don’t want to rush out in a panic. I want to feel proud of my performance, bow, smile at the audience, and walk off calmly (not in a crazed sprint).

3. I have a few of my performances videotaped. I don’t go over them with my voice teachers, but the terrible/great thing about my family is that they play through my entire musical theatre catalog anytime I have family over. I have watched my 9th- college performances in front of countless family members. While my aunts, uncles, and cousins all give me high praise, my parents are quick to point out my mistakes.

My dad: “Chabelita- look how still you’re standing. Your arms are practically glued to your side. That’s from all the years you spent in choir.”

Me: “thanks papi”

Dad: “No, it’s not a bad thing, you don’t do that anymore- see, let’s watch the Into the Woods one, by that performance you learned how to move your arms.”

Mom: “Yeah but maybe you could’ve stayed still a little more in that one- you were moving all over the stage”

Even when I don’t ask for it, I get constant advice and criticism from my family. It’s actually helped. Although maybe I should start getting advice from professionals with theatre/music degrees.

4. My performance anxiety isn’t as bad as it used to be. It usually happens a couple of minutes before I go onstage. It’s never negative, it’s usually just nervous excitement. I usually get the nervous shits (which go away as soon as I get onstage). I try to warm up my body by stretching, tensing up my muscles, then relaxing them, and doing some jumping jacks or squats or just shaking my limbs around to get my body warm and loose.

5. I definitely have felt discomfort during practice. There’s the physical discomfort that comes from practicing in my upper belt- if I work this for too long I will get physically exhausted and I have to be careful that I don’t do serious damage. But there’s also another type of discomfort. The practice rooms at JU aren’t exactly sound proof, so pretty much anyone walking by can hear you. And god forbid you’re in one of the jank practice rooms without the little window curtain. I absolutely hate it when I’m practicing something new or difficult and people walk by and look into my practice room. I know most people do it without any bad intent- they’re probably just curious to see who’s in there. But god it makes me so nervous. I hate it. So I always try to practice at weird hours when people aren’t in pfa. It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to, but it’s still a little uncomfortable.

6. I’m never in a practice room for more than 45 minutes. On a typical day I sing for about 2-3 hours (that includes voice lessons, choir, and musical rehearsals) so when I’m in a practice room, I try to make my time as efficient as possible so I’m not tiring my voice. I usually work for like 10-15 minutes and then take a short 2 or 3 minute break. I will sing through a piece, work trouble sections, and then drink some water and rest my voice. I try not to go on my phone during breaks. I try to roll out my shoulders and check my posture during breaks.

7. I’ve actually been working on this one for quite some time now. I decided to go dairy free about 8 months ago in order to improve my vocal and general health (dairy isn’t good for asthma or singing and I have/do both). I’ve been trying to work out 2-3 times a week and get off all electronics an hour before bed to ensure better sleep. I also sleep with a humidifier every night. The humidifier has been the key to my health. I used to get sick like 5 or 6 times a year and it was really making my life a living hell. I never knew if I was going to make it through a performance because I almost always had a cold or laryngitis. But ever since I started using a humidifier, I haven’t gotten sick. So over the course of this past year I’ve been trying to develop better and better habits to ensure my health. I want to sing until I get tired of it, and I don’t want my health to ever get in the way or keep me from doing what I love.

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