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Performance Anxiety

2011-08-30 14:02
People are still talking about Ard Matthews. Has he replaced Steve Hofmeyr as the new Malema of the entertainment industry after he singlehandedly managed to bring The SA Rugby Union and SuperSport before Parliament's portfolio committee on sport?

Luckily, Ard has supporters too; they all feel ‘very sorry for the poor man’.  I tend to agree with them. Sure, maybe he should have practised more, but I don’t think we understand the pressure a live TV camera can put on a man.

In our Channel24 team we have two reporters who are also performing musicians. I asked them to shed some light on performance anxiety and how they deal with it...

Jean-Marie Korff, guitarist and backing vocalist for Die Melktert Kommissie, says it has happened to her. “We were playing a gig at the infamous Bourbon Street in Potchefstroom during the Aardklop festival when I blanked out for a few seconds during one song and couldn't for the life of me remember what to play.

“Just to give you some background, this happened after travelling for 27 hours straight! We travelled from London to Windhoek, Windhoek to Johannesburg, drove home to Pretoria, packed some clean clothes, drove to Potch, got on stage… and played.

“How did I get through it? I just air-guitared my way through and mimed and luckily people were so drunk that no one even noticed.

“Advice for calming the nerves before a show, I'd say drink a glass of wine or sherry - that always helps!”

Anton Marshall, bassist and vocalist for several bands, including Three Bored White guys and Long Time Citizen says, “Yes, it happens”.

Anton forgot his words during a Bob Dylan tribute show. “On the second night, as I hit verse four, I looked over at my guitarist and blanked. Cue strange improvised chatter... Thankfully I picked up halfway through the verse and the rest went smoothly. Needless to say, there was frantic practise before the next night’s show, and it never happened again.

“We often forget that playing an instrument, remembering words, singing a tune, and maintaining a ‘performance’ for an audience requires a LOT of concentration and co-ordination. Best advice? Keep practising. And if it does happen, stop. And start again if you can. Or else throw a tantrum (‘I can’t work under these conditions!’). You’re a rock star after all.”

So there you have it. Best advice: drink a lot and if that fails, throw a tantrum. I’m pretty sure Lady Gaga and our MTV VMA winners would agree.

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Local is very lekker!

2014-01-31 11:38
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