Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, July 20, 2012

Big doings....

The good news is I've overcome my stage fright when performing - with a small caveat--if I don't know anyone in the audience. Put friends and family in front of me and terror strikes right in my solar plexus - exactly the place where one sings from.

It doesn't make sense. These are people who know me and love me - no matter what. These are people who hold me up when I need support mosts. These are the people I laugh with, drink with, dance with, play with. So why should their presence when I am going to sing make my heart palpitate like a hummingbird's wings?

I don't know. I have approximately one week to solve this mystery. Sugartime is having a house concert a week from Sunday. Any thoughts?



Spanj said...

It makes perfect sense. They are the people whose opinion matters to you most.

Take it from someone who's been on stage half her life; it's easier to perform to a stadium of strangers than it is to a room of friends.

You can always ask them to sit at the back. They love you, and they'll understand.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I've found that to be *exactly* the case for me. I'm wonderful in front of strangers. :) Angeline's explanation makes a lot of sense.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Have them wear disguises! If you don't know who they are...

Arlee Bird said...

I know what you mean because I've experienced the same. You figure you'll never see the anonymous audience again and what they say probably won't affect you, where as the known audience might talk about it later. I've always found though that friends and family are pretty supportive. Don't freak out too much. I'm sure it will all be fine. Have fun!

Tossing It Out

genebodzin said...

I'm too much of a performer to have to worry about this, but you might find it helpful to find one person in the audience who seems to be nodding a lot or smiling or otherwise showing agreement, and to talk as if that person were the only one in the audience. Make your delivery a monologue, pretend to be in a conversation with that one person. The ideal, of course is to scatter your attention all over the crowd as you talk and to make everybody feel you are talking to them, but in your case it looks like you have to focus your attention differently. Putting it on others might help. Good luck, Karen.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's weird how that happens. The first time I spoke in front of a crowd and Craig was there, I struggled. After enough times though, it no longer bothered me.

Talli Roland said...

I hear you! I'm much more nervous when I'm doing something in front of friends and family. Sigh!

Best of luck, Karen. I'm sure you'll be fabulous, despite the nerves.

Suze said...

Hmmm. How about trying a private concert for one person that you're close to for the express purpose of talking about the feelings that came up immediately afterward? A deliberate exploration of why you feel that way, kind of like smoking it out into the open?

Unknown said...

I'm the same way karen! I dont exactly perform but kareoke or anything like that I'm always better at with strangers. Maybe cuz strangers dont judge as harshly? I know many feel the same. It's indeed a mystery. Let me know if you figure it out. :)

Karen Walker said...

Angelina, that makes me feel so much better - it's counter-intuitive really - I would think you would feel "safer" with those you know love you.
Elizabeth, it's so odd, isn't it?
Alex, I love that - next time we'll make it a masked ball party
Arlee, yes, they are loving and supportive - but they're also honest with their opinions
Ken, thanks for your thoughtful comment
Diane, since this only happens once a year, I don't have much opportunity to overcome it
Talli, keeping fingers crossed
Suze, if I can fit that in before next Sunday, it's a great idea!
Pk, will do!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

No advice, but just an encouraging push onto the stage, while saying "You will do fine!"

Sharon Lippincott said...

Put on a blindfold yourself?

Seriously, when you integrate the music into your body and soul so much it's just part of you, you'll shift into a place of play rather than performing -- or executing -- songs.

Do you sing at home?

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Karen
Yes, Sharon, I sing at home all the time - we rehearse 3 times a week for 2 hours at a time.

Tonja said...

Good luck. I have stage fright too, worse in front of the family. Let us know if you find something that works. I've found a shot of wine takes the edge off.

Karen Walker said...

Tonja, that's exactly what I was thinking.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

It's kinda like giving a present to someone. If the recipient is an anonymous stranger, you won't be as invested in that person's reaction when he opens the box. But when you select and wrap a gift for someone you love, you sooooo want to delight that person with your gift. Your singing is a gift, and it's only natural that you want the people you care about to love that gift.