HOW TO BE FREAKING OUT AND PERFORM AT THE SAME TIME
FM Alexander: “ Knowledge of the self is fundamental to all other knowledge”
There is a difference between the heightened excitement of performing – and paralyzing fear. For many of us performers, real confidence in our craft did not come no matter how hard we studied, no matter how hard we worked. For many of us our training pushed us too fast, past what we could actually understand in an embodied way. We lost our access to the balance and coordination that was once natural to us as children. We understood the techniques of acting only “conceptually,” but were not actually able to do what we wanted to do – and we knew it. It scared us to be unable to do what we wanted to do. There are many reasons that this happens to highly skilled performers. No matter what the reason is, I know of no better solution for performance anxiety, chronic patterns of injury, or lack of confidence, than the Alexander Technique.
I don’t mean to say that you will be free of fear while performing because that would be ridiculous, and no fun. What I mean to say is that you can learn how to work with it. It wasn’t until I really accepted my extreme sensitivity and anxiety that I was able to reliably freak out and perform at the same time.
You are an individual, and the way you “work” is therefore unique. A lot of stuff about you is the same as other folks – you are a human being, after all – but you are also one-of-a-kind. Individual attention is therefore necessary to discover the relationship between what you are thinking, and what you are doing. An Alexander Teacher is one of the few educators that can help you discover this incredible connection between your inner self – your mind/spirit/energy/experience – and your outer self – your way of moving through your world and how you affect others.
Looking for a solution for paralyzing fear outside yourself is common, but not effective. The only thing you really have control over is what goes on inside your own body. The Alexander Technique gives you a reliable way to establish and maintain balance, coordination, and control in all situations including high stress. A good teacher will connect you with your own inner sense of yourself even when you are freaking out! If this speaks to you, I urge you to find an Alexander Technique teacher near you and find out more about it.
To find teachers in the USA, go to: www.amsatonline.org
CLARE IN THE MOMENT OF PERFORMANCE:
photo by Dona Ann McAdams