The Solo; or, How I Upped My Confidence.

December 6, 2010 Comments Off on The Solo; or, How I Upped My Confidence.

So I auditioned in a poignant and blog-friendly manner last Tuesday. On Thursday Bruce told me I got the solo so I could go right ahead and start stressing about it. On Saturday we had the big joint rehearsal with all five choirs there, and once in front of a ton of people I knew, I got bad stage fright, my knees and voice shook, and I couldn’t breathe, although I did nail the high note. The choir stayed after the rehearsal to run the piece again, and the girl in front of me turned around and said, “How about we try not to go flat this time?” And I thought, oh, great, no wonder I nailed the high note! It wasn’t the right note!

But then we did it again and again, as everyone else gradually trickled out, talking and not paying attention to us. With the pressure off, I nailed it again and again, on pitch and everything. And again in both concerts the following day. The end.

Hopefully this has been a permanent boost to my confidence. First real solo since I’ve started studying with Wendy and have felt like I’ve been improving—that should mean something. And I think I re-learned what it’s like to be nervous and still do well, which is important. And I learned that it’s okay to ask for encouragement. Before the concert, I couldn’t shut myself up—I kept turning to the people next to me and saying things like, “I’m a little nervous about this.” At first I was mad at myself. “Shut up!” (I would say sharply to myself.) “You sound like an insecure, whiny fisher of compliments!” But gradually I realized that if I needed to hear, “No way, you’re doing great. You’re really going to rock this,” it was okay to ask for it. If the positions were reversed, and someone admitted nervousness to me—even if they weren’t doing that great on their solo—even if I didn’t like them very much—I would be happy to boost them by telling them I was sure they were going to rock it. So that was also an important lesson. Many important lessons this weekend! And it all happened in less than a week. “The Spirits have done it all in one night!”

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