Magic Line Performance Method
Much more on all this structure in subsequent newsletters, and at workshops, etc.
Though Fearless Performance is our goal, this does not mean that fear is completely bad. I often say that I don't do anything without a goal. After long concert weeks, if I have some time without a concert, I don't practice very much. But at some point, the next concert is drawing near, so I begin to practice. I just magically feel compelled to pick up my horn and make some time to practice. ...and more and more time is spent on the horn with each day running up to the next concerts.
Why does this happen?
Why do I need urgency to practice? I love the horn and music, so it should just happen. Well, I also love my family, my students, writing my Fearless Performance book, watching House of Cards, and much more.
It's because I need a goal in order to do the work. Yes, altruistically I should practice for the joy of practicing and improvement. But my wife and son are amazing, and at 45 years old now, I don't want to miss hanging with them! Hmmmm...playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with my son Rhys or playing scales on my horn. Sorry, I'm a Ninja today! So to stay balanced, and oh yeah, to stay hirable, I need some fear of not doing, getting, and/or contributing what I want professionally in order to do my work.
Am I saying that fear can motivate quantity and inspire quality of your work?!
NO! Absolutely not. Well...no. Maybe? Hmmmm...ok, yes.
Fear in the preparation phase can be a good thing!
That fear of the upcoming concert, or meeting, or audition, or race, or test, or date, can inspire you to get off of the couch and go better yourself in some way.
As I said, I don't do anything without a goal. Call me lazy! But that's just the system that has worked for me. I set goals, and I go for them. Often my fears help guide me and tell me when my break is over, and when to take a break, and more. Fear helps balance my work.
Task for the Day - Embrace your Fearful Preparation moments
Watch how you think about your upcoming performances. When you think of them, look at your feelings. Use your fears to point you to where your work lies. Fear can be a great gauge of this.
The next time you feel fear, note it with appreciation, and act accordingly. If you under-prepare, fear can get you working. If you over-prepare, fear can force you to take a break, avoid injury, and stay connected to what's called frrrrrrriends andfaaaaaaaamily. :)
Leverage those fears to be balanced.
There's no magic formula though. For auditions I won, for example, I'd tell my friends not to invite me to the movies, but they could ask me to play an excerpt for them anytime! I'd make my life about the audition for 3 months, do the audition, and then for the week after the audition I'd watch a dozen movies.
Balance. Fear is a part of that balance.
Remember you are the master of your mental game.
PLAY it well...find your balance.