Last week in my Oboe Flow class, Dr. Andrew Parker was talking with us about performance nerves and he put it so well. He said, “Your approach needs to be two-pronged – you have to notice and dance with the Voice, and you have to do the work to prove it wrong.” Such a simple rubric, such a clearcut way to describe the thing that’s taken me years to even see and acknowledge in my own life.
You have to do the work, the preparation for the event. That part is easy to talk about, and we know how to do it. That’s just practicing, following the steps, putting in the time. The other part, though, is the part we don’t talk about enough. You have to realize that the voice you hear saying you’ll fail is not the TRUTH, it’s just one opinion and you don’t have to believe it.
This applies to scary things like performing in public, absolutely. But it applies so much more broadly as well – I hear that voice all the time, as I share my words, my thoughts, this BOOK that really is coming soon…
As musicians and creatives, we all have these voices. They want to keep us undervalued, underemployed, underexposed. They want us to stay small and not seek better. They convince us that we are too young, too old, too scared, too unqualified to try for more.
They lie. They really do. You can be huge. Dance with your voices, and DO THE THING ANYWAY. The world needs you to bring your magic.