Hello there blog- I just realised how long it has been since I last wrote...
There has been a lot of talk around the practice of 'mindfulness' in the media recently- there has even been an opera composed about it. It is something that I was introduced to by my singing teacher Anna Connolly years ago when I was suffering from performance anxiety. A man called Dr Russ Harris has many things to say about it, and some very interesting and helpful recordings as well.
Essentially it is about being present in the moment (whatever that means for you) and not to judge yourself if your mind wanders off, or you have anxiety inducing thoughts. It is also there for you to be mindful of others- a very important and often neglected skill. Strange topic to bring up right?
Well, these kinds of practice become more and more necessary the older we get- especially in the world of the performer. It is our job (and pleasure most of the time!) to leave ourselves behind and enter the stage as our character. When things are going well this task is the easiest, most enjoyable thing in the world.
What happens then, when there are events in our personal lives that effect us? This is the difficult part of the job. It is not the publics responsibility or concern why we perform the way we do, all they know is the character on stage and how well it is sung/performed on any given night. How do we go on stage when we've just been given bad news- a death in the family, an illness? How do we perform a season of a show when we've just ended a relationship? How do we sing when we've had a flu for a month and can barely phonate? The answer is simple: we just do. It is then that the support network around us, and the mindfulness of others can mean he difference between making it onto the stage or not.
The only thing I can encourage is for people to be mindful; of oneself and of one another. You can never truly know what people around you are going through... So I'm sending love and kindness to all around- those I know and those I don't.
Until next time blog...