Stage Fright Strikes Again

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Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby jeffl » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:57 pm

Our jam band is scheduled to play an outdoor party at an organic farm commune this weekend, and one of our guitar players got stage fright and backed out on us. He just sent us an email saying that he'd been stressing over this gig and that he couldn't do it, and that he wouldn't be at this week's jam/practice.

We'll do fine without him, but it was a bit of a surprise. He's had issues with performing in the past, but he's never backed out on a gig before. We don't even need him to lead any tunes, although he does a bunch of 'em; I can't quite figure out what hit him.

It'll be interesting to see if this experience causes him to question the direction he's goin' with his music.

I've never suffered from stage fright, so I have no idea what he's going through.
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Re: Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby allanlummox » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:26 pm

I get rather nervous every time I play in front of people - but it dissipates fast, as soon as I make contact with the audience.
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Re: Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby jeffl » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:56 pm

One thing is obvious: when you're playin' in a band there aren't too many periods of completely smooth sailing; sooner or later, somebody'll start makin' waves, whether intended or unavoidable.
Lummo: I get nervous when I play, but I think there are healthy levels of nervousness which can be channeled into performance energy. Stage fright is something else.
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Re: Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby maxx england » Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:40 pm

I don't get stage fright, just a slight elevation of adrenalin before going on that manifests itself as pacing backwards and forwards a lot.
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Re: Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby jeffl » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:11 pm

In this particular case, it can't be anything innately intimidating about the audience: it's a daylight harvest picnic for a bunch of cool tree-huggin' families with smily faced little kids. All of 'em will have the countenance of angels, being imbued with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your carbon footprint is smaller than that of cromagnon man.
They're not even serving any alcoholic beverages, which means that anybody wishing to catch a nice late summer buzz will have to torch their home grown superstrains before they leave the house.

Maybe the thought of playing in front of a bunch of well educated 5 yr. olds scared the crap outa our guy.. or he might really be thinkin', "What do I wanna do this for??? ... a box full of more squash, cucumbers, and melons than I can possibly eat before it rots...? I'll jus' tell the boys I've got pre-performance stress syndrome."
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Re: Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby cas » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:35 pm

I suppose it's hard to explain what really causes stage fright...especially to someone who doesn't experience it. And, I'm sure it's different for all who suffer it. I know for me it seems to be the sense that everyone is judging me & finding me wanting. I realize that's probably not true, of course, however, the sensor you have that enables you to shut your internal critic/devil/problem maker off is broken in my head. No matter how many times I yell at it to shut up.....I still get stage fright.
Maybe a support group? Except we might not show up 'cause...you know....we have stage fright.

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Re: Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby allanlummox » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:14 am

I would describe my nerves in similar terms - although obviously different intensity. But applause cures it - my internal critic turns out to be an applause whore.
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Re: Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby bottleneck » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:50 pm

i find i can deal with stage fright as long as i play before i speak.if i am nervous and try to speak first you can definitely tell,haha

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Re: Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby Neal » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:23 pm

Pablo Cassals got horrific stage fright. That new British gal with the voice, I forget her name, she pukes before concerts. Carly Simon got terrible stage fright. Who knows the reasons, I'm sure they vary. I get stage fright pretty bad as well, but I think it's mainly due to being a mediocre player.
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Re: Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby allanlummox » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:11 pm

Kirby Kelley - one of the finest slide guitarists I know - gets amazingly nervous before shows. And then burns the place down.
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Re: Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby jawbone60 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:17 pm

i have always been a ham since i was a kid. and it's not that i have no stage fright because i definitely have. it's more that i learned long ago that no matter what someone may think about my time on stage,my standards are different and somehow more strict than any that are imposed on me by the audience. this lessens the potential for whatever the audience may think and at the same time, has pushed me to do better and better with the end result being that most times i get a good response from the audience.

i think too, i had to come to terms with what size i am in the big picture. i'm very very small on a cosmic music scale. i hope to leave some sort of musical footprint but little walter and sbII and the big greats are already gone and have left huge footprints already. so i have my doubts that anything i do with music will come close to the original heroes who inspired me and still do. regardless of that, i just can't imagine that any mistake i can make would have any real dire consequences. as a friend used to tell me: "they can throw ketchup all over ya, but they can't eat ya!"

i also learned a long time ago that if i just keep walking- onto the stage- and go about the business of playing with the band or partner, once the first note is struck, i have no time for self-consciousness. it's just go ahead and do it til it's done!

audiences are also very forgiving esp if compared to how i critique my own self. within seconds of a booboo of some sort, it's forgotten and the actual moment we're all in is the most important moment. that's what i love about live music, nothing lasts much past the last note of the last song of the night!
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Re: Stage Fright Strikes Again

Postby Neal » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:26 am

"they can throw ketchup all over ya, but they can't eat ya!"


I like that.
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