The concert debrief!
The concert at the TWGGS school, Tunbridge Wells, was a great success!
I have now spent some time ‘debriefing’ myself, to better understand how I handle performing. When I was younger, I would get worried that, before a performance of any kind, my body would react to my nerves by almost shutting down. On the day of the performance I felt as thought I could sleep all day, interrupted only by the desire to eat! On a good day this worried me and on a bad day it would panic me …. I felt that surely I ‘must be coming down with something’ or at least that I wasn’t going to have enough energy to give my best in the performance. My friends and colleagues seemed to be quite the opposite on the day of their performances: they were full of adrenalin and would eat as little as possible because they felt that they wouldn’t be able to keep anything down!
As I sit here writing this, I’m thinking about the amazing singers that I have been privileged to work and become friends with. Knowing that these performer’s reacted to adrenalin in a different way to me unnerved me. I felt that it meant my body was reacting negatively to my situation. I would often push through my tiredness and then push my voice through the nerves and the next morning I would genuinely feel like I had been run over by a bus, leaving me feeling disempowered and further destroying my confidence….
At last friday’s concert, I realised that my body was reacting in the same way: lethargic and with an appetite! – and I started thinking again that maybe it was an indication that my body was unable to deal with the pressures of performing ….
But then I stopped myself….
Since I have been teaching and organising singing workshops, I have been fascinated by the individuality of each person and how they learn, develop, deal with challenges, etc. I have become passionate that students need to be allowed to express their uniqueness and learn from mistakes and realise their unique strengths.
So why was I not allowing myself the same experience?
I decided to allow my body to guide me through the day. I was hungry! I ate breakfast, but then needed protein at lunchtime and enjoyed a steak and eggs. Then I was hungry again at 5pm and enjoyed a chicken salad!
During the afternoon I had my hair and make-up done and kept nodding off! It was very funny: I was so relaxed!
I noticed my reactions with interest and looked forward to find out how this would affect my later performance …. and I’m glad that I did.
The evening was a real success and afterwards I found that my voice was as fresh as it had been at the beginning of the concert! I was physically tired afterwards of course, but woke up the next day without that draining feeling that I had always experienced the day after previous performances.
So it would seem that my body has always known how to deal with performances; but due to my preconceived ideas and lack of confidence in myself, I had experienced unnecessary hardships and frustrations.
This TWGGS concert was largely about giving the pupils a platform in which to discover their capabilities. But it has also enabled me to do the same.
A huge congratulations to all involved, to all who came to support and enjoy, and a big thank you from me.