Posts filed under Recieving

How to work with stage fright instead of fighting it

Okay, let’s be honest, most of us have felt that nervous energy coursing through us as we step onstage. Some of us have been completely overwhelmed by it. Our hands shake, our mouth and throat suddenly dry up and our mind goes blank, we forget that line of lyrics, skip the bridge, and totally screw up that solo…and walk off the stage thinking “I know I could have done better if I hadn’t felt so nervous!”

As a child and teenager, I always thought nerves were kind of fun – natural actually. Before every show, I would feel those butterflies in my stomach and know “This is it. This is my time. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for! This is my moment to share my gift and shine!”

But then, somewhere around age 20, I started having what we call “Stage fright” – fear so strong it interfered with my performance. I would stand onstage and wish to God the show would get itself over with and SOON – before I completely lose it! I felt completely disconnected from the music, from the audience and I hated every minute. But afterwards, offstage, I was heartbroken, wishing to have another chance, longing to perform. So I would schedule another show, look forward to it for weeks, and then onstage again, I’d be consumed by fear, struggle through it and wait for it to all to be over. I knew I loved performing – I was even told I had “great stage presence.” I wanted to share my music, but I had lost my sense of how to love it in the moment. Not to mention that playing my best was impossible.

Posted on April 30, 2014 and filed under Being onstage, Recieving.

My love affair with music

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 
I’m writing a love song to music.  I was inspired when a friend, Lesley Kernochan shared a song about music being her lifelong monogamous relationship with all it’s ups and downs.  I feel the same.  Just like any incredible romance and great love, having a relationship with music means being inspired, touched, loving and then sometimes it is a torrential experience of upset and heartbreak.
 
The song I am writing starts like this: “Peux- tu rever pour moi/j’ai perdu les miens entre la scène et la maison/ J t'ai quitté en face de tous ce que j’aimais/dupuis le début. (translation: will you dream for me/I lost my own between the house and the stage/I left you in the face of all that I’ve loved/since the beginning).  Music have you forsaken me/I wrap my finger round these strings/my voice it catches in my throat/will you come for me, will you come for me?/ You’re waiting for me around the bend/though I sip cups of fear I take your hand/I know you will always be there/in my hands, with the birds/in the land”
 
This song is about owning my identity as a musician.  An identity that stems not from ego, but from the truth of who I have chosen to be in this life.  It is like saying “I am married.” It is a choice to constantly be this no matter how easy or hard it is.  “I am a musician” is a declaration that pulls me out of bed in the morning to my yoga mat where I begin making vocal sounds and then moves me toward my violin and my notebook and holds me lost in love, writing, singing, playing my heart out for hours.
 
It is a state of arrival within oneself where you know you are inseparable from your music and you have become willing to be seen as this.  It is the experience of feeling naked onstage, unable to catch my breath, forgetting the lyrics, and still knowing that this is who I am and music is always there for me – my constant lover and faithful friend.  Music is my ground, my bread, my source to connect to the innermost part of myself and to reach out and touch the most fragile place in another human being. 
 
This is my experience.  What is yours?  How do you access your truth?  How do you honor your identity without clinging to it?  Please share by clicking this link and leaving a comment!
 
And then there are the messy parts of the love affair.  The days when sound seems to escape you and a song refused to reveal itself.  It is the year I spent practicing so hard I injured myself and had to stop playing, stop singing and slowly begin again in order to discover my true sound.  All things are made up of vibrations.  All we have to do is tune in.
 
Music is an expression of love in the world.  It is where we get to drop our defenses and express what is truly in our hearts.  So I invite you, with your loved ones or alone to express your love by writing, singing, dancing, listening, and creating.
 
And speaking of love and music, here is a video of a love song I wrote for my amazing boyfriend, Shane Dooley who will be touring out to San Francisco with me next week.
 
I love you all,
Emma

Posted on February 14, 2014 and filed under Songwriting, Community anouncements, Recieving, Womanhood.