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Anxiety and stage fright, any advice, guys?

Old 05-25-2013, 07:35 AM
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Anxiety and stage fright, any advice, guys?

Hey guys. So, Iíve this event coming up.

And itís sort of my nightmare situation for a myriad of reasonsÖand when I get bad anxiety everything goes - my vision blurs, I shake, my brain becomes a snow globe, my muscles tense and I literally cannot speak. At worst, I just plain pass out...like, bit shaky then thud. Literally -

Anyway, this'll be my first ever sober event. Itís in two weeks, but already the anxiety is getting me thinking bs like Ď Iíll just bump a bit of coke and everything will be fineí.

...I thought I was dealing with it (and other stuff), but then I sort of lost my temper...at work...the other week and got signed off and now the doctor won't say I'm fit for work so my boss won't let me back.

Back to the point, I guess Iím posting to stop myself from that sort of bs thinking much as anything...

Truth is, I canít avoid these events for the rest of my life...

I figure if I can get through this launch the two events after that might be a little easier goingÖ

Over the last couple of years trying to actually face my using and being a general pain in the arse, I've gone from being that girl who fights like a bloke to a mute who shuffles about with a handbag full of beta blockers...Right now, I've mastered angry and reckless or expressionless mute ...and neither look good on stage, y'know...

Just wondered, anyone been in this sorta' situation / anything you found effective?
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:49 AM
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I'm a musician and I read a book ( twice) called " The Inner Game of Music". It deals with the 2 different "selves" we all have: The self that is critical and gets in our own way, and the self that simply exists and reacts in the moment. This book helped me enormously with my performance anxiety. I believe there is also " The Inner Game of Golf" and also one for tennis. The principals are basically the same. You might Google to see if there is an " inner game" book that might apply to your situation. Just a suggestion....
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:18 AM
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LDT...thanks. Not sure 'The Inner Game of Golf' will help too much, lol, but I've started reading the Music one. It's quite specific, but still really interesting. I'll stick with it. Cheers!
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:15 AM
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Hello, my husband and I are both classical musicians. I do not get stage fright, but my husband does, even though he has been performing violin since he was two years old. Nothing worked for him- books, meditation or the "inner game."

He went to his doctor and now he takes the beta blocker, Propranolal, for stage fright. He takes it an hour before a performance. It also helps his high blood pressure, too.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:41 AM
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Thanks, 1stthingsfirst - was beginning to panic I'm the only one out there with this anxiety!

I'm actually prescribed propanalol, but I'm the opposite of y'husband - very low blood pressure, so if I take enough beta blockers to take the edge off they can make me pass out much as nerves do. Bit of a tight rope really.

'Think the nerves started when I started trying to 'take control' of stuff and have just got out of hand. I never used to 'get' neurotic / anal type people at all (blissful times -_-' lol). And now I am one. Sod's law, huh.

My major problem is (typical of a bipolar diagnosis, I guess), everything's an extreme with me...totally carefree to the point I'm danger to myself or just a nervous wreck *sigh
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:46 AM
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That is too bad, propranalol is really effective with little side effects. I cannot take it either, since I have asthma.

I am the same way with trying to control everything. Letting go is my biggest challenge in sobriety. I don't like feeling nervous, either.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:26 PM
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I'm good at letting go and getting good at clinging too...its the inbetween I'm yet to master
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:49 PM
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The first time I ever played a gig sober I was terrified...
but as soon as we hit the first note I was ok...'I'm a musician - this is what I do'

#bestgigever

You may be just fine, Tsukiko - best wishes !

D
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:18 AM
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Hey, Dee!

I hope so, but I d'know. Don't wanna' 'set myself up to choke', but I did an 'almost sober' reading once before...got up there and passed out, literally hit the floor.

Guess we'll see. Huh. Least I'm still braving the stage, eh. Though what happens after that can be a lil' interesting lol :/
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:50 AM
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I'm a musician, and did a lot of acting when in college. First times I set foot on stage sober I was absolutely frozen. Prayer got me through it. Every time. The fear didn't necessarily go away, but I did what I needed to and it got easier over time.

Had an acting teacher that did an awesome job of convincing us that stage fright was our best friend. It's energy that we can learn to channel into stage presence. Again, the tool that enabled me to do that was prayer.

There are still times that I'm a mess before hitting the stage. I ask that I be separated from my ego. That spirit is able to flow through me, and that I'm able to as I heard someone put it, "bless, not impress".

I don't believe in taking any kinds of meds to get on stage for about 1000 different reasons, but won't get into it. I just believe there are other, better, ways. And if for some reason I absolutely felt I had to medicate to get on stage, then I'd choose to not get on stage.

I've got lots more thoughts on this, but not in a position to write right now.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:48 AM
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Hey, Joe. Cheers.

I'm physically dependent on beta blockers. Stopping outright (for me) could be potentially dangerous and tapering while I've this looming would be unwise. I've posted before about my ambivalence over taking 'em, but I'm diagnosed bipolar and they take the edge off / make managing moods easier. And if its a choice between them and a potentially lifelong cocktail of lithium, antidepressants and anti-psychotics, for now I'll stick with these. I'd love to be 100% drug free, but for the sake of not ending up in jail or the nut house, 'till I find a way to be that...I just try do what I figure is the closest to it.

I've been on stage since I was a kid, but I've been a drunk since I was a kid. Then, I became a performance poet as a teen...and I became a drug addict as a teen.

Bar one, I've avoided 'the stage' for two years since getting clean, but while I write I'm obligated a lot of the time to also read, do interviews, partake in events, launches, press, readings etc. And I want to do a good job of it too - I owe the people there and the publishers and fellow contributors that much. And I can't not write. I've tried. It's one of the core things that keeps me sober and sane.

I'm just having to learn how to adapt. I can muster the guts to walk up there and will not give up, but that doesn't seem to stop me then randomly passing out or my vision blurring so much I can't read the book or my muscles from cramping to the point or even manipulate my mouth and tongue to speak. I d'know how to control that or even go about trying to control it.

Though, I'm a lil' more laid back about if people wanna' get high or drunk or whatever and preform. If every musician, writer, artist etc that was on sommet' or drunk never preformed the world would have missed out on a lot of great gigs that've done a lot of good and some people (like myself) who used before and then while preforming would never have maybe got the careers or confidence to even consider getting clean or have to face the stage solo, y'know.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:23 PM
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I know my posts sometimes come off as a bit opionated, especially when speaking about medication, I am really however talking about myself. Saying I don't believe in taking medication for stagefright I should add, "for me". I wasn't talking about anyone who is already on meds, or needs them for issues other than getting on a stage. My thoughts were more along the lines of all else being well, but wanting meds to just get over the idea of getting on a stage. To me it's much better to learn to use that fear to my advantage, and if I couldn't, then I'd think there's probably something else I should be doing.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:20 AM
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Joe, I asked for your opinion lol. And appreciate y'taking the time to give it. And I actually agree with ya' anyhow. I've been tempted to use coke etc to combat it because that's my brain's default go to. I won't use coke. What I want is to learn to use nerves to my advantage - like you have. That's why its useful asking advice - people (like y'self) give it.

Cheers, once again.
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