Pre-Game Jitters (Performance Anxiety)


What the fuck? What is this? Anxiety week for Rich? Now I have performance anxiety. I think that’s what’s causing it today.

I started off with my spiritual rituals and gave my day to God. I think I did anyway. I basically chilled out after that. I wrote a little bit. I did some of those surveys I was talking about in another blog. I practiced my set for the show I am playing tonight. I worked on some video and networking and stuff. I didn’t get much sleep last night so I went to lay down in the nice air conditioning and all of a sudden a panic attack crept up on me. I came back downstairs and outside to have a cigarette after taking some anxiety medication that my Doctor prescribed for such situations. I lit up a smoke and called a friend. It helped slightly. I can barely focus n writing this.

I have never had the “pre-game jitters” before. Sure, I’ve been nervous before shows but I never had an anxiety attack before one. Now I’m panicking that I might have one on stage.

I’ve really lost interest in playing out the past year or more. I don’t like to practice. I don’t like the bar crowds. I have no patience to sit (stand actually) through a bunch of bands even if I like them. My live band show tolerance has decreased tremendously in the past few years. Maybe it’s because I have seen too many over the years between booking bands for almost two years straight or playing out so much for three years or more. I’m a decent performer. I used ot love being in front of people. I’ve had the charisma and stage presence thing down but I’m not real interested in playing out anymore.

Last month I played for a friend’s birthday. He was a fellow band mate who has done a lot for me and my former bands. I couldn’t say know and it was a pleasure to play for him. I ended up spending most of the time there with another former band friend that doesn’t drink talking outside for a few hours. I really like the people that show up for the bands. I like the bands and the members too. I just don’t enjoy the entire experience like I did years ago.

Tonight I am playing because it’s a benefit for a friend and former band mate to raise money for his medical costs because he is very ill. It starts earlier than usual and ends later than usual. He will probably only be there for a short while because he is sick. I am only playing tonight because of him. I don’t want to sit there for hours just so I can do my fifteen-minute set and then stay even longer.

Maybe all of the pressure of the night is building up combined with the fact that I barely practiced and am barely prepared. Maybe seeing my sick friend has something to do with it too. Whatever it is I am trying to take it easy. Take one moment at a time. Whew. I pray I get through this.

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