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Stage Fright/Nerves

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On 08/06/2021 at 22:57, leftybassman392 said:

Do you have links for the opt-out?

 

Useful blog here (not mine, but the info is good) on the process with links to the form to get to your GP by 23rd June for the Type 1 opt out, and an online link for the Type 2. Doesn't seem to be any online way of doing Type 1, unless your GP surgery set it up (but unlikely!). https://medconfidential.org/how-to-opt-out/

Edited by EdwardMarlowe
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I can stand and play and sing in front of any amount of people because it's rehearsed. What I hated was gaps between songs when my mate would say talk to them to fill in while I tune up. I would freeze and tell him to hurry the F up! Public speaking makes my skin crawl and any kind of ad libbing is impossible. I couldn't handle hecklers for instance, of which mercifully there were few.

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1 hour ago, ubit said:

I can stand and play and sing in front of any amount of people because it's rehearsed...

 

Well, there's your answer right there. Rehearse. S'what actors do for theatrical performance, or film répliques. It doesn't matter what you rehearse (the 'standard' would be a couple of jokes, usually cheesy, but could be any anecdote or flight of fancy, à la Peter Gabriel...). The important part is that it's not adlib, it's rehearsed, in front of a mirror, maybe. Take the opportunity during band rehearsal, while this 'tuning' goes on, to step up to your mic and 'speak to them' (the fictional audience in the rehearsal room...). S'no big deal once you're used to it; you'll see. B|

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I used to love improvising. For me it was the most enjoyable thing I did, and these days is pretty much the only reason I still play at all. Don't get me wrong, I was all for plenty of practice and rehearsal in all formats, but putting one's own interpretation on a performance is telling your audience something about you. I spent a while doing solo cocktail gigs, and were it not for improvisation they'd have been a lot shorter than they were. o.O

 

That said, I used to know a classically trained woodwind player. Fantastically good musician (and much in demand), he could play anything you put in front of him at the first time of asking, but (and by his own admission) he couldn't improvise to save his life. If it wasn't written down, he had no clue.

 

Each to his own...

Edited by leftybassman392
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We played bars most of the time so when we were in our heyday we would invariably have a few drinks. This would settle my nerves and strangely lubricate my throat for singing. I know that vocal teachers would say this is wrong but I found if I sang sober I would start to struggle after the first set. Stage fright was well gone by then, so I don't know what it was but a few pints would help me sing. Obviously if I got too pished my playing would suffer so it was a fine line. I feel for people who get stage fright because I got it bad unless we had everything rehearsed to the hilt.

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Things have generally been fine but I did notice a slight tremor of the hands at the last rehearsal - because, for the first time ever, I was playing a synth in front of other people.

 

It settled down after about four bars.

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On 06/08/2021 at 09:10, Dad3353 said:

Well, there's your answer right there. Rehearse.

Impossible to rehearse banter between yourself and punters. Its ok at a large concert venue but in a bar you can hear what people are saying in the "crowd".

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35 minutes ago, ubit said:

Impossible to rehearse banter between yourself and punters. Its ok at a large concert venue but in a bar you can hear what people are saying in the "crowd".

 

Maybe so, but 'talking to the audience' is not necessarily 'banter'. The 'Peter Gabriel Trick' was to begin a fantasy story, ostensibly explaining the context of the next song, which would often segue into the song itself, in which there was no mention of the preceding 'explanation'..! Meanwhile, the band were preparing, tuning up, whatever, and the audience attentive, so there was no 'dead air'. OK, they had a particular genre to 'em, but our singer, far from being an improviser, rolls out his one-and-only 'joke' at these moments, sometimes two or three times during an evening..! This, in itself, keeps the 'flow' of the set alive. Dealing with heckling is another skill; we don't get heckled, so I don't know how we'd react. Probably floods of tears, I expect. :$

Edited by Dad3353
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Banter is when it's going back and forth. I can chat to anyone but as I say on stage where everyone else can hear it becomes harder. You are aware that you might say something that everyone laughs at or even worse if you say something funny that no one laughs at. If someone shouts out a funny comment and you cannot think of a humorous retort until half and hour later kind of thing.

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18 minutes ago, ubit said:

Banter is when it's going back and forth. I can chat to anyone but as I say on stage where everyone else can hear it becomes harder. You are aware that you might say something that everyone laughs at or even worse if you say something funny that no one laughs at. If someone shouts out a funny comment and you cannot think of a humorous retort until half and hour later kind of thing.

My worry is that, not knowing the audience, I’d inadvertently say something that could be misconstrued or seen as offensive.

 

I like Dad’s idea of having some rambling monologue prepared just to avoid the “dead air” and occupy time while the amp is being fixed/guitar being restrung/singer sobered up*. 
 

Alternatively, have an MP3 player plugged in and ready to go and announce “it looks like we’ll be a few minutes while these small technical issues are fixed so here’s a little music and I’ll go and get my potter’s wheel**”

 

Then play some bland elevator music or something obviously inappropriate.

 

 

*delete as appropriate

 

 

**Obscure reference to the early days of TV when they would show little films, one of which was somebody using a potters wheel to make a bowl, whenever they had technical problems with the scheduled program. Might be a little too obscure for any audience less than 60 years old…

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On 12/08/2021 at 11:24, ezbass said:

I used to have little chats back and forth with the lead singer, often going for innuendos. The trick is not to speak too quickly so that it doesn’t become gobbledygook for the audience.

I also have the problem of a West Coast of Scotland accent which doesn't lend itself well to talking through a mic. Especially as I also have a deep voice. I used to have to slightly put on a voice to try and be understood.

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2 hours ago, ubit said:

I also have the problem of a West Coast of Scotland accent which doesn't lend itself well to talking through a mic. Especially as I also have a deep voice. I used to have to slightly put on a voice to try and be understood.

Oh, that’s not good. Fair play to you for making the effort.

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I've never had nerves about performing but I still get anxious about loading up my car with gear. We share out the PA & lights between the band so there's always something extra to remember.  Funny thing is within about 10 seconds of setting off I'm fine? 

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On 11/08/2021 at 16:21, Dad3353 said:

 

Maybe so, but 'talking to the audience' is not necessarily 'banter'. The 'Peter Gabriel Trick' was to begin a fantasy story, ostensibly explaining the context of the next song, which would often segue into the song itself, in which there was no mention of the preceding 'explanation'..! Meanwhile, the band were preparing, tuning up, whatever, and the audience attentive, so there was no 'dead air'. OK, they had a particular genre to 'em, but our singer, far from being an improviser, rolls out his one-and-only 'joke' at these moments, sometimes two or three times during an evening..! This, in itself, keeps the 'flow' of the set alive. Dealing with heckling is another skill; we don't get heckled, so I don't know how we'd react. Probably floods of tears, I expect. :$


Hecklers are easy - you just need a few good stock answers, and the right tone of authority to use 'em with. Simple stuff: 

"Didn't your mother warn you about going drinking on an empty head?" 

"Aw, bless. I was like that after *my* first pint." 

"Do I come to your place of work and tell you how to serve the fries?" 

I used to MC a Rocky Horror floorshow cast night. One of the best reactions I ever got was to putting down a heckler with, in my best The Sweeney voice, "Shut it, you Schlag!" (aimed at a male heckler, #nosexist). I think it was the unexpectedness of the accent (I sound like Liam Neeson or Jimmy Nesbitt normally). Another good one (accent specific re the heckler this time) "Hang on a minute, you're Australian, aren't you? Get back to work, those glasses won't wash themselves!" or "You're an Australian? Shit! Somebody guard the sheep!" 

 

None of it particularly clever, but delivered with conviction: effective. 

As a general rule, what the heckler gets out of it is the thrill of attention and being able to rattle the performer. If you can throw it back on them and make the audience laugh at them, they generally shut up pretty quickly in my experience. 

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