Wednesday, March 23, 2011

like the footsteps of doom...

Tomorrow. Is. My. Audition.

I'm nervous. Very, very nervous. I love playing the violin, but playing in front of people, especially when there's any pressure, makes me physically sick. (To be precise, it feels like two or three medium sized dragons are dueling in my stomach, breathing fire, thrashing around viciously... the whole nine yards. I'm only exaggerating a little bit.)

Aaaannnd... yeah. There's a lot of pressure goin' on right now. Oh, yeah, it's just the audition to see whether I get into the music department, what seat I have in the orchestra, and whether or not I receive a scholarship. No big deal.

Oh, wait. IT IS A BIG DEAL.

And I'm nervous. (Hm? Oh, I already told you that? Well, I'm telling you again.)

My game plan these last couple of weeks, and the last two days especially has been: breathe.

When I start feeling nauseated, when my mind races into panic mode, (whatifImessupreallybadly, whatifImessupreallybadly, whatifImessupreallybadly???) I just take lots of deep, deep breaths. It helps.

And then I dash upstairs and play my pieces over and over and over again. The whole piece. Then the problem measures... ten times, slowly. five times medium. then up to tempo. Repeat. Breathe.

I find that while I'm playing, I'm not nervous. It's been such a relief to discover this. "Oh, that's good," you might remark. "You'll be fine tomorrow." But unfortunately, this lovely feature doesn't carry over to performances.

My hands get sweaty. So sweaty I can hardly take a grip on my bow. My legs and hands shake. Very literally. (I always have WAY too much vibrato when I'm performing, and it's not 'cause I'm meaning to.) My heart speeds up... speeds up... speeds up.... til I can hardly hear anything except THU-THUMP THU-THUMP THUMPTHUMPTHUMP. Not conducive to playing well, as you can imagine. And I almost always mess up at least once. I can remember two performances when I didn't.

All I want to do at moments like those is run from the room and never pick up my violin again. Ever.

But, as the reverend Mother told Maria, and as Maria told Leisel, (doesn't it make you happy when something from a favorite movie helps in real life?) "you can't run away from your problems. You have to face them."

Tomorrow, I'll face my audition. And I know, as Rachel Lynde told Anne, "the sun will go on rising and setting whether I fail [my audition] or not."

(That knowledge is about as comforting to me as it was to Anne, by the way. In other words, zero comfort.)

So, now you know. If I'm covered in sackcloth and ashes the next time you see me, just be kind and don't ask how I did. If I look reasonably sane and happy, ask anything you want.


Emily said...

if I recall correctly, Rachel Lynde's remark didn't make Anne feel any better.

Gurtrude said...

Ugh! I hated it when my legs shook! I hated the feeling like an elephant was standing on my chest. I wish you good luck! Be brave!!!

Lolly said...

Absolutely unbelieveable! I didn't know you had your audition. You never tell me ANYTHING. Grr. So, how'd you do?

Julia'sponderings said...

A little bird just told me that you are going to do great....oh wait, it's already over.
But the little bird was still right.