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Help: Beat the nerves help?

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Ella who is Sooze 09 Jan 01 - 09:52 AM
KingBrilliant 09 Jan 01 - 10:00 AM
katlaughing 09 Jan 01 - 10:02 AM
Jon Freeman 09 Jan 01 - 10:12 AM
Lady McMoo 09 Jan 01 - 10:14 AM
Jock Morris 09 Jan 01 - 10:26 AM
Wesley S 09 Jan 01 - 10:52 AM
Ella who is Sooze 09 Jan 01 - 11:13 AM
Amergin 09 Jan 01 - 11:21 AM
Mary in Kentucky 09 Jan 01 - 12:02 PM
Clinton Hammond2 09 Jan 01 - 12:26 PM
wysiwyg 09 Jan 01 - 12:56 PM
Clinton Hammond2 09 Jan 01 - 01:10 PM
Bristol Ted 09 Jan 01 - 01:32 PM
black walnut 09 Jan 01 - 02:17 PM
annamill 09 Jan 01 - 02:30 PM
mousethief 09 Jan 01 - 02:39 PM
Little Neophyte 09 Jan 01 - 02:51 PM
Naemanson 09 Jan 01 - 03:18 PM
Hollowfox 09 Jan 01 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,Les B 09 Jan 01 - 04:52 PM
Bert 09 Jan 01 - 05:38 PM
Jeri 09 Jan 01 - 05:55 PM
Bill in Alabama 09 Jan 01 - 06:40 PM
Little Neophyte 09 Jan 01 - 07:01 PM
Ella who is Sooze 10 Jan 01 - 05:49 AM
LR Mole 10 Jan 01 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,LEJ 10 Jan 01 - 12:57 PM
Amergin 10 Jan 01 - 01:36 PM
John Routledge 10 Jan 01 - 06:57 PM
vindelis 10 Jan 01 - 07:21 PM
Ella who is Sooze 11 Jan 01 - 12:07 PM
Seamus Kennedy 12 Jan 01 - 01:17 AM
Don Firth 13 Jan 01 - 02:12 AM
Don Firth 13 Jan 01 - 02:18 AM
Bernard 13 Jan 01 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,ChrisE 13 Jan 01 - 07:58 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 13 Jan 01 - 08:48 AM
Bernard 13 Jan 01 - 09:27 AM
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Subject: Beat the nerves help?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 09:52 AM

HI

Have got our very first huge of hugiest types of gigs...

(at least 2000+ more than our families - or the usual pub gig - the most we have played to has been about 300-400 for St Patricks Day last year)

And I am getting nervous... already - and it is only a week away....

Does anyone have any advice for beating the nerves? Wouldl appreciate some handy fine tips now...

Thanks - in advance


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 10:00 AM

That sounds like great fun, and success, and fame & everthing.... If you can do 300+ then you'll be fine, could you think of it as just five crowds of 400?
Where is it you are playing?
I'm sure the nerves will disappear when you get there. Best of luck, and let us all know how it goes....
Kris


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 10:02 AM

Sit, let your shoulders relax and slump comfortably. Take in a deep breath, through your nose, so that your belly goes out like a balloon; blow it out slowly through your mouth. Do this for at least 5-6 breaths. It not only empties all of the stale air from your lungs and brings in fresh, it will also slow your heart rate and calm the nervous system down.

Also, exercise, go for a walk, listen to some soothing music, dance the *jitters* away.

Hope this helps. Congratulations!

kat


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 10:12 AM

Ummm a Laguvlin per 10 = 2000/10 = 200.... rather more than I can handle... but Jamesons is cheaper (and Irish not Sotch... no saved on money but not numbers...

Good luck... you will be OK - or I wish you well. I would love to be able to offer advice but I doubt I have even played to 100.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 10:14 AM

If it's any reassurance, I find it a lot more difficult playing to an intimate crowd of 50, where individual contact with each person is essential and where knowledge and appreciation of the music may be high, to playing to a crowd of 1500!

Just try to enjoy yourself as usual, this will be infectious and the crowd will pick it up as well. A lttle feeling of adrenalin is normal and also essential for best performance.

All the best and good luck!

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Jock Morris
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 10:26 AM

Largest audience I've played to was about 200 and I was more worried about the impression I made on the people I shared the stage with than the unknown audience. Guess I'm saying much the same as mcmoo, the hardest audience is a room of people you know.

Try and relax and play as well as you can; no-one can ask more of you than that.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 10:52 AM

One thing that has worked for me is that if there is any way you can get on the stage you'll be using so you can get an idea of what it will look like it might calm those jitters. The more prepared I am the better I feel. Make a list of everything that you think might go wrong and then address those fears one by one { or run screaming from the room - whichever you think will be more productive }. It's also nice if some friends can be down front so that you'll have some friendly faces to make eye contact with. Or else have your friends scatter throughout the crowd to get the applause going. That's called having a "shill" if I'm not mistaken. Let us know how it went - Good Luck


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 11:13 AM

Thanks...

We always take a few friends to our gigs... they have been a god send at the most quietest gigs we have had (3 people other than our pals - which made the audience up to 10) and some of us always take our Mum and Dads.

Can't do the whisky thing.... as much as I would love to - but I totally loose it when I am 100% proofed and turn into even more of a jibbering wreck....

Our parents tend to stand there going to the people in their nearest vicinity going, hey clap, they are good... you got to laugh at them really!

Jock and mcmoo.... I know what you mean... it is much worse when you know all the people you are singing to ... and it is a smaller crowd...

OUr worst critics are always our families I suppose!

And Kat... That sounds like a good idea... just as an over zealous first aider doesn't rush to my help

I am really looking forward to it...

Not making a mint out of this one. But it WILL get us noticed... well hopefully...we are doing it so we can get noticed a bit more

But the money isn't everything... I am going to really enjoy it (eventually) and hopefully after we have played go for a few in the bar and just.... chill out!

Ta

Ella


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Amergin
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 11:21 AM

All you got to do is just ignore all of the sniggering....


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 12:02 PM

I like Wesley's advice.

I always found it much easier to play or sing in a group than as solo. There was just something about the feeling of supporting someone else's playing and the dynamics of making music with others that eliminated the jitters for me. A solo performance was quite different though.

I did have to present lectures to crowds of 200-400, and I discovered a very important guideline. If you are speaking to ~150, there is an intimate feeling of communicating with individuals. But over 150, you lose that feeling, and you might as well be on TV. The most important thing I learned was, in presenting chemistry lectures which involved lots of explanations of problems...if you make a mistake with an audience of 150, you can correct it and go on. If, however, you make a mistake in front of a larger audience, it's almost impossible to correct it.

For you this means, be over prepared! Check out the logistics of sound and light beforehand, and have back up plans. Have multiple starting places. Don't be shocked at the lack of intimacy. Plant friends in the audience to assist the "spontaneous" applause. Keep moving. Also, be prepared for the noise level. You might even have to alter your choice of songs. I really don't think jitters will be as big a problem as presentation.

Let us know how it goes.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 12:26 PM

I've never reallly found that it matters, if I play to 10 people or 1000... I guess stage fright isn't something I understand, being such a performance junkie...

Good call on the booze thing... use it to celebrate after your show, not as a cruch before... ;-)

Just have fun eh!
Break a leg!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 12:56 PM

I was not yet a public speaker when I found I had agreed to address a crowd of about 1,000 in a very formal setting. The day of the event I prepped about an hour too early and then had time to kill. I was so nervous I could not sit still!

To keep busy I took it upon myself to hand out the welcoming brochures and workshop handouts at the door... there was no such role being perfomred, so I made it up as I went along. And I personally welcomed each one to pick a good seat up close to the front. They were so nice, one on one! Just people!

By the time I had to step to the podium, I was speaking to 1,000 acquaintances, most of whom had smiled and exchnged a nice word with me already. And I got more offers to come speak, as well as a job offer and a ton of contacts.

So... apply this to your setting if you can, in some form, to some extent.

And have fun with it! People like REAL more than PRO. Think back to a pro you respect the most. Real, too, right??

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 01:10 PM

"People like REAL more than PRO"...

;-) cool beans bean! That may go only my list of rules!

"You gotta sing, like ya don't need the money
Love like you'll never get hurt
You've got to dance, like nobody's watching
It's gotta come from the heart if you want it to work!"


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Bristol Ted
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 01:32 PM

Be yourself, and ENJOY (sorry, mustn't shout) the event. Otherwise, why are we all putting ourselves through this?

A wise old sales manager once said to me "Just remember we've all been to the toilet today" That took the edge off things a bit!

And, don't forget to see how far way the nearest fire escape is ...

TaTa

Ted


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: black walnut
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 02:17 PM

Repeat over and over for the half hour before you go on: 'There's nowhere I'd rather be and nothing I'd rather be doing than this....'. And don't allow anyone around you verbalize their fears or voice potential hazards.

And no coffee.

It works for me....

~black walnut


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: annamill
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 02:30 PM

Honey says sex helps him to relax before a performance. You could try that. Someone famous (I have no idea who) said that if you're really nervous, just picture everyone naked. Sometimes I just do it for fun ;-)

Seriously, in all the speech and composition classes I've taken the secret is always to be prepared. If you know what your next step is, it's a heck of a lot easier.

And as everyone has already mentioned, relax and enjoy.

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 02:39 PM

I'm afraid I don't have any advice to offer. I always get my attack of nerves after the performance. It's then that my legs turn to jelly and my hands can't stop shaking. Up on stage, I'm cool as a cucumber. I wonder if anybody else has this backwards stage fright?

Alex


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 02:51 PM

A very wise soul recently gave me this advice when feeling nervous up on stage,

'Look them in the eye, one by one, and give em your best smile.  (Ella, I know its kind of a lot of people to look at but do you best)
Throw your head back and sing from the heart.
Guess if you are playing an instrument, you got to play from your heart too.
Find the back corners of the room and be that big, from the beginning to the end.'

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 03:18 PM

Hey, cool, it don't get any easier than to perform for a large crowd. As someone else said above the hard part is the small groups. You can see everyone looking at you and that can get to you.

Also, performing in a group makes it easier to do. The largest crowd I've ever soloed in front of was about 200+. With the group I've sung to as many as 1000+. In the larger audiences it's easy for the individual faces to get lost in the wash of color and light.

You'll do fine. Have fun, be yourself and celebrate after the gig.


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Hollowfox
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:05 PM

Jim Ringer once said that he was nervous until he realized that everyone in the audience wanted to be there, and wanted to hear him. Makes sense to me.
Knowing what the first number you'll perform is a good idea. After that, you'll be involved in the mechanics of the set, engulfed in the music yourself, relating to the audience, etc.


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: GUEST,Les B
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:52 PM

One concrete idea from a past thread on this subject: Eat one or two bananas about 45 minutes before you're on. They have some sort of natural "beta blocker" that calms you down and makes the hands steady. Hey, can a million cool, laid-back monkeys be wrong !!


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Bert
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 05:38 PM

You got the gig because one or more people thought that you were good enough to do it.
Also, you are an internationally famous performer. Yes, through your contacts with Mudcat, people all over the world are just wishing that they could be among the chosen 2000.
So go out there, put on a swagger and ACT FAMOUS 'cos you bloody deserve it.
And enjoy the hell out of it, 'cos you're the greatest.

Break a leg, me luv!!!!

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 05:55 PM

You'll probably be scared to pieces right before the show, but one minute or less into the first song, and the nerves start to fade. My advice is to have the first song down so well you could do it in your sleep.

For me (and most of my experience is with public speaking) numbers don't matter, and small, intimate groups can be a lot scarier than big ones.

The people are there to have fun and WANT to enjoy you. Remember that.

As so many have said before me, have fun! People will forgive all sorts of mistakes if you care about the music. You can play perfectly and not care, and folks will go home feeling like they missed out.


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 06:40 PM

Ella--

Look 'em in the eyes! Bonnie's right. Our contract states that house lights should be up about halfway, so that we can see the audience well. Each of us picks certain folks who are enjoying the show and we play and sing for them, changing our target folks from song to song. To us, eye contact is important. No matter how many folks there may be, you can play for the small group you choose for each number. Most of them are wishing that they could be where you are, doing what you do.

Have fun! Bill


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 07:01 PM

Ella, I must thank you for starting this thread because I will be doing my first Real performance this Friday. I'm opening up for the Charlie Sohmer bluegrass band.
It is a big deal for me and I feel ready to do it.
This thread has been so very helpful.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 05:49 AM

Thanks to all who have replied...

There have been some really good ideas and hints...

It's great - and some confidence boosters...

And Bonnie, I am glad that you are getting some help and hints too.

I think the rest of the group are a litte panicky too.. so will pass on the comments to them too.

I think it's great that all the mudcatters are so supportive - and it is such a nice forum and group to have contact with...

Cheers all...

Thanks to all!

Ella x


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: LR Mole
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 10:22 AM

I find that nerves aren't something I stop having--just an interesting way to feel. It's caring, for yourself and your audience. What a nice thing for you to be doing for everyone. As Dan Hicks said," People think it's easy to just be up here performing. It's not." But it certainly is worth doing.


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: GUEST,LEJ
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 12:57 PM

Good luck Ella, and Bonnie too!First impressions count a lot,so nail that first number.


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Amergin
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 01:36 PM

Oh and don't forget that if it seems that they are laughing at you.....they probably are...*BG*


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: John Routledge
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 06:57 PM

ELLA - Jeri has a very important point about preparing your first song so that you can do it in your sleep.

Reminds me of the difference between an amateur and a professional (From Sandra Kerr - consumate professional)

An AMATEUR practices a song till they get it RIGHT.

A PROFESSIONAL practices till they can't get it WRONG.

You will be fine on the night. Good Luck John


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: vindelis
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 07:21 PM

Just remember, - the day you stop being nervous is the day to pack it all in. Get out there, sock it to them, and enjoy yourself.


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 12:07 PM

oooo!

A day and a half to go now!

going to meet up with the lads tomorrow to finalise the set lists...

Going out tomorrow to buy shed loads of bananas for the band to boost their energy levels...

Though if I can keep certain members away from the guinness it is going to be a miracle.

hmmmm


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 01:17 AM

Ella, all the folks who told you to "break a leg" are incorrect. That's for actors and theatrical people. For musicians it's "break a finger." Get up there and do what you do best. If you mess up, it ain't the end of the world; there'll be more gigs where you're great! Break a finger!

And all the best.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 02:12 AM

Early on I got two pieces of advice that have stood me in good stead for a long time and through a lot of performances:

In 1957, when I was auditioning before Dr. Stanley Chappell to get into the University of Washington School of Music as a classic guitarist (I knew I would never get in if I said I was a folksonger), I was so nervous my hands were trembling, and I was messing up badly. Dr. Chappell stopped me, and after we chatted for a few minutes, he said, "The reason you're nervous is because you are more concerned with what I'm going to think of you than you are with the music you're playing. Forget that I'm here. Think about the music." He gave me a second chance, and I was accepted.

In 1959, the first time I appeared on televison -- live! -- I was petrified (despite Dr. Chappell's advice two years before). Fortunately everything went exactly as rehearsed, because I was going purely on automatic. And I had five more shows to do! After the first show, I mentioned to Sally Sauerwine, the producer, that I must have looked like a trapped rabbit, because that was how I felt. Sally asked me, "Do you get nervous when you're sitting in someone's living room singing with your friends?" No, not particularly. That's actually very comfortable. "Okay, how many people are usually watching any one television set?" Well, generally one or two. Four or five, maybe. "Does it make you nervous to sing for, say, a half-dozen people?" No, I sing in front of at least that many people almost every weekend. "Well, then, remember that that's exactly what you're doing. You're just coming through the television set, that's all. Sure, maybe you're coming through thousands of television sets all at the same time, but in each household, you're only singing to a few people. Think of someone you know who is watching, and sing for them." By the second show in the series I was keyed up, but I wasn't nervous. By the third, I felt like an old pro.

Actually, a third piece of advice came from my younger sister, who was a world-class figure skater back in the mid-Fifties -- competed in the World Figure Skating Championships in Vienna in '55 (and this ties in with Geordie Broon's comments above): "Practice until you're about thirty percent better than you feel you need to be, because you will never perform under ideal conditions. There will always be something that isn't quite right, and you have to be good enough to overcome it." (guitar string refuses to stay in tune, a little phlegm in the throat. . . .)

In the summer of '63, I sang in the Seattle Center Hootenannies. Several of them were outdoors, in front of the Horiuchi Mural. One evening, the audience was huge. The police estimate said that the crowd sitting and standing on the lawn in front of the mural came to about 6,000. The following week, 15,000! Fifteen thousand people cheering and applauding sounds like surf! It's incredibly exhilarating!

Breath deeply, relax, smile, sing your li'l heart out, and enjoy!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 02:18 AM

Sorry. All you have to do is get one "<" bass-ackwards and the whole thing is in italics. Nevertheless, good luck, Ella, and have a great time!

Don Firth

"bass-ackwards" fixed:-)
- el joeclone -


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Bernard
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 07:05 AM

'It was at that moment I learned that adrenaline was BROWN!!

Nerves are a good thing, they sharpen up your performance. I agree that small audiences are more difficult to please. I suppose it's harder to generate an atmosphere...

The first song will be the hardest, so choose one that you know backwards, and can belt out! Better still, leave it out completely...

Good luck - though you probably don't really need it!!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: GUEST,ChrisE
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 07:58 AM

I sometimes ran 50 metres from and back to the place where I play...I felt free, try to feel free and the nervosity will be gone.

A concert is as effectful as 10 times band-practise.....see it that way....it's just a bigger practise, hehe

Good Luck Chris


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 08:48 AM

Today's the day!! Good luck- with this crowd cheering you you'll be fine!
Treat any audience as an intimate crowd- it will connect you to them and they will enjoy you more for it. I guess that's the same thing as Bill and Neo's look-'em in the eye- but what it boils down to is let the audience know you are happy to be with them- it can create a warm energy that suffuses the music and the atmosphere.


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Subject: RE: Help: Beat the nerves help?
From: Bernard
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 09:27 AM

Suffuses?

Flamin' 'eck! That's where I've been going wrong! I don't suffuse... wouldn't know how...


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