Before we confront the problem of genuine performance anxiety, realize that our feelings of exposure and dread may not be stage fright at all, but symptomatic of other issues:
- Perhaps it is the very rational fear of not being adequately prepared.
- Perhaps we love music, but need to share it in some other way.
- Perhaps the extrinsic motivations associated with the performance are putting too much pressure on the outcome, distracting our attention away from the intrinsic enjoyment of our life as a musician. (more on this subject in subsequent postings)
That said, bona fide stage fright is the overwhelming feeling of discomfort and loss of control before or during a performance…
- despite loving what we are doing,
- despite doing it for the right reasons, and
- despite being otherwise prepared (musically at least).