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Thread: Intense Stage Panic

  1. #21
    Grimmell73's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    With respect to self-help books, consider these, all of which have been found effective in clinical trials:

    1) Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment, by David Barlow
    2) Managing Social Anxiety Workbook, by Debra K. Hope
    3) Mastery of your Anxiety and Panic Workbook, by David Barlow

    You can also look for a cognitive behavioral therapist who specializes in either social phobia (more likely to hit your problem) or panic (less likely). Make sure they use a tested protocol; get the workbook; use the workbook. Anxiety disorders are most effectively treated with empirically-validated CBT protocols like the three listed above. The results are stronger than with medications, without the pesky side-effect of habituation, rebound anxiety, and potential addiction. Good luck!
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    Kato Havas wrote a wonderful book called "Stage Fright" - it's a good read and has some good ideas for dealing with it. In lue of heavy drinking I reccomend breath control, and meditation....another good book that deals with is is Perfromance success.

    +1 to playing on the street, I did that for a while in Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo - it really helps.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    In these cases of extreme stage fright it will help a lot of you can first perform in a small crowd maybe a group of friends and family members at your backyard or some place where you can set up a small stage and an audience so that in this way you will be able to at least have a feel of it when you are already up on the stage with a bigger crowd. Also it will really calm you down if you do some deep breathing and relaxation exercises before your actual performance and don't think f anything else just close your eyes and relax, don't even listen to the person playing ahead of you while you are still backstage, have some earplugs so that you can really concentrate or listen to the song that you will be playing by prerecording it so that you get to visualize that you are already laying it on stage

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    I've had to deal with extreme stage fright, both while playing and also with public speaking. The public speaking problem is mostly gone, and playing in public is WAY less stressful than it used to be. I concur with what a couple others have said--practice your performance for friends, spouse...whomever you can cajole into being your audience. It helps to experience and work through the anxiety before the real event. I don't recommend substances, because they won't fix the problem, and you risk having to deal with a whole new set of issues related to them.

    Oh, and set realistic goals. If you know you're going to be fighting panic, don't expect perfection from the performance. Just strive to get through it and give the audience the best music you can. Then, once this is behind you, you'll have a success to build on, and after a few more solos you'll be WAY more at ease with the process.
    "Nothing is worse for a musician than getting an opportunity you aren't prepared for." - Quincy Jones

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    If you truly have that many symptoms SOTW is not the place to ask for guidance...go see a shrink.

  6. #26
    Forum Contributor 2011 dstack79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    I've played about 22 years and never totally gotten over this problem. I can tell you that I get better at dealing with it each time I play in front of people, and it gets easier and easier as time goes on. I think it may be the idea of "habituation", and how certain phobias are often treated by repeated exposure until you realize that the phobia is irrational.

    I used to be TERRIFIED of flying on airplanes and would purposefully avoid travel. I eventually forced myself to fly at least once a year because I knew I'd miss out on so much in life if I continued my habits. It's been about 8 years and flying still makes me nervous, but nothing like it was before.
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  7. #27
    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    I know this sounds stupid, but as a serious introvert that does a lot of public speaking these days, I actually do the things DaveR has suggested (being prepared is critical) plus:

    Imagine the audience in their underwear and keep that image in your head. Makes them seem much smaller and less intimidating.
    Remember they're actually wanting to hear what you have to say. You are in control, not them.
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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    I like what maddenma had to say... I'm always nervous before playing cept' sometimes I'm not, I feel it has to do with expectations, yours '&' others as well.
    'It's ain't about the notes on the page, it's about the notes on the stage!'

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    breathing exercises and meditation..... you need to get everyone else in the room out of your mind and be there playing for yourself.

    What I am talking about is taking a long controlled strong inhalation through your nose... hold it for a moment then relax your throat and exhale in a controlled manner through your mouth maintaining and supporting the air column as if you were playing your sax. Do this several times.... Just concentrate on your breathing then play.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    Good ideas FremontSax...
    'It's ain't about the notes on the page, it's about the notes on the stage!'

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    Try this one: When you get up on stage, but before the performance starts, act like you're checking to make sure your horn works and make the most horrible, long, honking, squealing sound you can. You'll get a laugh from everyone and it will put you and the audience way more at ease, and then you can get down to business. Good luck!

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    My angle is to tell my story to someone. Usually there is somebody I care around, my wife. But find somebody and tell your story to her or to him. Do not emphasize looking toward this "selected person", just think in telling your story to her or to him. This person has heard you before or you want this person to hear your new skills.

    Also, keep in mind that most of the members of an audience would love to be a saxophone player Don't they? So you are cherished in a way... Tell your story. Be who you are and feel strong on your arms (old tip from a long time warrior I met), so your embouchure may not suffer from bad posture due to being in stage... be honest. Tell your story and pick somenone.

    The stage is only a representation of a bigger stage: life.

    Good luck,

    JI

  13. #33

    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    Quote Originally Posted by Locust Solus View Post
    I'll get back here with a review of what happened that night.
    Cheers.
    Well, how did it go ?

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    Sorry I saw this thread late. But for future reference, re panic attacks I had one some years ago when the guys in a rock band decided that I would become the new lead singer. I walked into that tunnel of a panic attack for much of the first set (playing in front of friends didn't help) but had no problems in the second set . However, because of that experience I eventually undertook this as a field of research. Here are the results.
    http://www.saxontheweb.net/Resources...-NSharpe1.html

    This step-by-step, time-efficient, integrated series of practical techniques works, as evidenced by the thousands of downloads and positive feedback since these articles were first posted. If you have any questions or anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know.
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  15. #35

    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    This isn't going to help you massively as I suffer but not as badly as you but I thought it might help people generally who are reading this thread.

    I think for some of us, the nerves never go away and we have to accept that to a degree but a couple of things I have found help me.

    On the day, I don't practice anything. You may/may not find this helps you but after doing both, I have realised that personally I am much calmer if I accept what will be, will be.

    Also, I dress in something that is "me". For my first jazz gig, everyone told me to wear a dress. I'm a jeans kinda girl and psychologically it put me on edge. I now wear what makes me feel happy and down to earth and screw everyone else.

    On the day of the gig, I try not to be at home and sit around, do something else, but if I have to be at home, I often find myself listening to classical music! This is not something I normally do but I naturally find myself doing this!!

    Lastly, I have not taken drugs before a performance, but if your nerves are that bad, lorazepam seriously could be worth consideration. I know people are going to slate me for saying that when it gets to the point where your fingers are shaking and you are hyperventilating...

    The other thing is that I play a lot at jazz jams - I go to three jazz jams a month and it has got me a lot more used to playing in front of people. Seek out some jazz jams or go busking, honestly!!

    And if it goes wrong, be gracious and smile - WHO CARES? YOU CARE THE MOST, not them.

    Even with all this, the nerves are STILL THERE! But they are bearable :-)

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Intense Stage Panic

    Quote Originally Posted by Alley Cat View Post
    Well, how did it go ?
    Yeah, how was it?
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