- 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 get up on stage with some of my closest friends I’ve made at JU and make music and live in the moment! I want to inspire Luke and Jacinto to play their best. All coming from the heart and I want people to see that what we represent is an artform. I don’t want to think at all…I just want to play and see what happens.
- 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 try to express myself while I’m playing. I’ve been told in the past that people can see how much fun I’m having just from the way I play. When I play, I tend to drown out the audience, unless I’m soloing. When I’m accompanying, I’m trying to give the soloist everything they need in order to really get everything they need out their performance. I come on and off the stage with a smile, it shows the audience that I’m enjoying myself.
- 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 have done this before. However, stage presence, was not the topic at the time. Rather it was my musical performance. We looked at the good things and even during the not so good parts my mentor was encouraging, and we’ve since then ironed out my deficiency’s. This next round of performances I will discuss this with him.
- How do you experience performance anxiety? Describe your specific symptoms:
- thought patterns (self-talk)
I am extremely fortunate to say that I do not experience performance anxiety. This is based on my personality and experiences dealing with pressure from wrestling. Even when I am on stage without a chart to read in a big band or if I don’t know the tune being called at a jam session, I am adaptable enough to fake it and make it. This is the truth.
- Of the interventions described for handling anxiety in this chapter, which do you plan to work on?
For me? Taking a deep breath. Sometimes all I need to do is take a deep breath and I’m ready to go.
- Have you ever experienced discomfort during or after practice? What have you done as a result of feeling this discomfort?
As a drummer, I have had to deal with fatigue in my right leg. I’ve had two knee surgeries and they have really taken a toll on my ability to drum with my right leg. Sometimes my leg just tuckers out during practice because my fine muscles have atrophied due to surgery. I do a lot of technical exercises to ensure that I don’t experience discomfort while playing.
- How often do you take breaks during practice sessions? How long are these breaks? What do you do during these breaks?
It depends. When I’m playing mallets. I usually do 20 minutes on 5 minutes off. This is to give myself a break from standing long periods at a time. It also helps because If I stand for a long time my knee starts to hurt. When I take a break, I disconnect myself from my music and allow my brain to be away from the shed. This helps me not be distracted when practicing. A good break ensures optimal performance.
- To help ensure a lifetime of healthy music making, what else (beyond taking breaks) can you do to help safeguard your performance health?
I really need to watch my weight. Although I would say I’m still decently fit. I want to lose more weight and be more active. I feel this would help my stamina for standing and reduce the amount of breaks I need to take when playing mallets, or if I’m in rehearsal during orchestra or wind band.