My Alexander Technique teacher the other day told us about a guy named Don Greene who does a lot of work with performance anxiety. Fascinating guy–I mean, a former Green Beret who is now a performance coach. It sounds like his main thrust is on helping to focus or channel the energy we bring to any moment, whether audition or performance or whatever, into a positive force rather than letting it work against us.
At the same time, I’m not myself bothered enough by performance anxiety to invest in the books and such.
Or am I? I am a musician, but I don’t love performing. I love making music with other people, which is why conducting is so amazing–rehearsal no more nor less than performance. I have always felt like my choirs and orchestras are like a “performing audience” (to quote Huijbers) of their own, and in a real “performance” we simply need to perform for ourselves and one another but with other people there to listen. The connection, the interaction, the experience together of the music is what’s important. All that shtuff of entering and bowing and dressing in tasteful not too feminine but not too masculine blacks and shaking the right people’s hand and coming out for various bows and stuff…not my thing. I do it because it’s expected. But the making of the music–that’s the good part.
So maybe the reason I don’t have much performance anxiety is that I seldom really “perform” per se?