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The Performer Prepares: Lighting Up the Audience

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Authors Robert Caldwell
ISBN 1877761265
Length 226
Price $31.95
Carolyn Jones Campbell

“The Performer Prepares by Robert Caldwell completely opens up that area of performance that every musician must face regardless of age – just how much they are going to commit to the recital or audition, how much they can manage their personal fears, doubts of their ability. And, when teachers work with Caldwell’s ideas as a regular part of each student’s learning process, gratifying and amazing things will happen in their studios.”
Carolyn Jones Campbell

book for stage fright, performance anxiety, and stage presence

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  • book for stage fright, performance anxiety, and stage presence

Day after day, hour after hour, you practice, learn, and study your music, preparing for what is, by comparison, a very brief time on stage. In that slice of time, you hope for a magical experience with the music, a connection with your audience, or, perhaps, a rich shared musical feast with other musicians on stage with you. But how do you prepare? How do you know when you are ready? What keeps the performance from becoming plagued with nervousness, performance anxiety, even stage fright? How can you ensure that you bring the best of your self into the moment of performance and successfully light up the audience?

In this special title, Caldwell guides you on your inner journey, pointing out the potholes, showing you the signposts, and teaching you to spot the watering holes along the way to your own special performances. The book helps you gather your inner resources, transcend your everyday experiences, and develop your own heightened states required to light up an audience.

Gathering your inner resources

With specific examples and exercises, Caldwell offers pragmatic methods and tools for working through your personal subjective issues and concerns, helping you to learn to use them as cues for your artistic journey, freeing you to evolve until you can reach a heightened state while performing on stage.

Performance Anxiety

Often, performance anxiety is a signal to you that aspects of an upcoming performance have not yet been adequately prepared. Even if you have prepared the music, you may not have coordinated or developed your inner world well enough or richly enough to meet the heightened demands of the performance. Caldwell shows you how to utilize these experiences, turning their negative side into positive expressions that become integrated into the whole, elevating your preparation into using yourself to answer the high questions of art, beauty, meaning, and grace—in essence, how to become your own artist. While unique, complex, multilevel issues arise in each individual for each performance, Caldwell points out the universals all musicians deal with routinely, offering specific actions and inner techniques for working with your own thoughts, emotions, and sensations, getting them all to line up for your own performance.

Stage Fright

Sometimes performance anxiety escalates into intense stage fright, a horrible and debilitating experience. For many people, these experiences are so intense and so far out of conscious control that they seem impossible to change. However, Caldwell offers painless and interesting exercises that are repeatedly used to successfully treat intense stage fright. These novel techniques, though simple and effective, were derived from ones used to successfully treat Vietnam War veterans and Jewish Nazi prisoners with post traumatic stress disorders. Applied creatively, these exercises liberate the performer from even their worst intense inner constraints, freeing them to shine on stage with the fullness of their musical spirit.

Connecting with the Audience

Caldwell describes connecting with the audience as a skill, a technique of developing a unique set of inner perspectives related to performing. Wondering why some performers seemed to connect so easily with the audience while others seemed to have a variety of barriers, Caldwell interviewed both sets, finally distinguishing how one group differs from the other. He developed techniques to train people to develop these internal perspectives on themselves, their audiences, and their relationship to each other, which greatly enhances their stage presence and their abilities to light up their audiences. In pragmatic, step-by-step techniques, Caldwell offers these exercises in his book.

For other descriptions, see stage presence and performance anxiety.

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