There is life after a concerto. It's strange going up a hill and then seeing yourself at the top of the hill and then, at home afterwards, down the hill. Many different stages of anxiety, preparation, elation, and relaxation.
It's obvious what happened when, so I will not go through that. I knew how I was going to feel, because of doing it once before last year, I knew anxiety was going to happen. It's like going on a roller coaster ride the first time, you don't know what to expect but you know people survive at the end of the ride. Still, It makes you nervous. Then you go the second time. You get what is going to happen, although you are still excited and nervous.
Oboist are like lion tamers. We walk in with our whip and our chair and wait for the lion and wonder how he is going to approach us. We have to be ready for anything and we cannot let our attention go elsewhere. It's stressful, but we still walk into his den. It's not ours. We can't seem afraid. We have to be brave and courageous. We can't show him our fear. We have to be in control. We are ready for anything.
As an oboist you have to have really good reeds in any weather change , lots of practice time, endurance of playing the instrument, and nerves at a controlled level. Knowing that really we are not going to be eaten by the lion and we will walk off the stage helps. Every experience builds on a new level of playing. All opportunities should be take to help with stage presence and experience of playing in front of others. I realize now, I have only played in front of others like this a few times in my life. I should do this more. I need more experience to build more confidence.
Not only the performance mattered to me this weekend. I had to look good too! I dieted a little too late, losing 12 pounds in 21 days. I bought a beautiful dress a couple months before and practice which hairstyle I was going to do and how much jewelry I was going to wear ( or very minimal because of getting in the way of things) but just enough to make me sparkle. Also, I practiced my make up for weeks and possibly months to get it right. I piled on the foundation with a trowel. :-) I lined my lips with lip liners as I can't wear lipstick. I practiced walking in my new shiny shoes which I bought months before! Looking good mattered to me as well, because the year before I cut my hair short, (too short), I bought a used dress, had it altered and it didn't really fit well. My makeup was minimal and I just looked plain and fat to be honest.
I wanted to be more than that this year. I tried to really step it up and it worked! Something I discovered about myself, you have to find out what makes you different, what makes you beautiful. Not comparatively to others but what makes you , You! It was a year journey for me. What makes you stand out from others? That is your gift! Use it. Become it and own it. Your personality builds off of that. God makes you special in a certain way and you have to find out what that is. That was the journey for me this year.
To make things less stressful for me, I planned other musical things to do. The following day I played bells at my church for 2 services 7:30 - 11am!! and I played oboe
at a late night rehearsal 6-9 with another symphony for another performance. Guess what happened? I got sick . I barely slept more than 5 hours of sleep before the Sunday performances and rehearsals. Now it's Tuesday and I am really sick. I am eating a little more to help with recovery.
I tried to remember the good time that I had and want to keep a memory of it. I made a small canvas of the event this weekend.
It's not often I get to play in front of a symphony. I am blessed that people put so much faith in me. The best thing was my kids got to see me in front of the orchestra. I don't just have sandwiches for them at lunch time. Although I love that too and find it was my true calling, something I enjoy the most is being with my sweet family. I am blessed to have a kind family and good friends in my life.