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August 27, 2019


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I am so with you on this one! I want to not care what people think about my painting, but painting is important to me, so I do care. It is MUCH easier to hear critiques from people that I don't know than it is to hear them from people close to me. I wish, wish, wish that I could get to the "don't care" stage, but I'm not there, yet, ...but my goal is to get there. I think about your uncle's comments often! Loved that earlier blog post (along with this one, of course!)!

Donna Connolly

HI, Syd - Perhaps if you played for Kim and Jeff first that would help. They sound like kind, supportive friends, who understand how incredibly terrifying it can be to perform in front of someone else. Good luck!


Hey Sydney… Thank you for being brave and sharing your true thoughts and feelings. Do you have Netflix? If so, I highly recommend Brene Brown’s ‘The call to courage.’ I think it will address a lot of what you’re talking about.
And after that, you need to watch Hannah Gadsby’s ‘Nanette.’
I promise both will change your life!
And maybe your performance anxiety...


PS Both of those women use strong language. (I don’t want your readers to check them out and get an unwelcome surprise.)
Brene Brown addresses your topic directly. And Hannah Gadsby just makes you want to embrace your own truth.
Let me know what you think!


Angela: I don't mind strong language--I kind of like it . . . Anyway I will definitely watch. I mean, I even tried hypnosis--what have I got to lose watching a couple Netflix shows! I will report back my progress.

Donna: I have, and they are my favorite audience. Kim especially.

Marie: I totally get it--but again, I have to tell you, I LOVED your work. Maybe we just need to learn to hear that . . .

Dave Walsh

Hi Syd, I think this is something that performers (musicians, actors or public speakers, etc...) all encounter. It's what gives you the energy to do your best. After 35 years in sales, I still would get nervous addressing groups. People told me I did a great job but I always was hyper-aware of what people thought. I learned to begrudgingly accept it. The best advice I ever heard was, "it's not about ridding the butterflies but about getting them to fly in formation." ;-)


Dave: I like that one about the butterflies!


About those recitals.....my daughter teaches voice and piano to all ages. Her recitals are in somewhat intimate, informal settings .. think stage lighting, pizza, and great sound technicians. There is a mixture of the serious and the not so serious pieces, some funky duets, some play/sing something that they have written, a bit of Taylor Swift etc. I think the atmosphere takes the pressure off but they still want to do their best. You can tell that a few older students are a little nervous but most of the students are just having a great time. Last time it ended with several pieces by a teenage band (lead singer is her voice student). Most of what they did was excellent, but once they messed up , just laughed it off, stopped and told a joke and started again. .Fun times for all... as it should be.

So glad you are back.


Thank you Judy! I used to perform in a lot of plays and musicals when I was a kid, and although I got nervous, it was kind of excited nerves. The ones I feel as an adult are more anxiety nerves. I need to capture that spirit of being a kid I think . . .

lc skupien

i admire your perseverance and courage to perform, even with shaky hands. Obviously your joy in the music and in working to become the musician you want to be trumps the performance jitters. Bravo!


lc: Well I will admit it keeps getting marginally easier. So I have faith that someday it won't be quite so terrifying. . .


What kind of style is Doug’s playing- jazz? Classical? Blues? Combination?

I also want to express enthusiasm for your return to blogging even if it is short lived. Would love to see you play since i live near you (Mt. View) and since you don’t know me you won’t be nervous!

What I also think is your more experienced perspective on retirement will mean that those who have been at it for awhile will get a hint of how interests and activities change now that you are not a newbie or looking to catch up on all the fun that you had to put off during your career. You are still helping to see ahead!


Luisa: Doug mostly plays classic rock. Beatles, Eagles, Bread, that kind of stuff. Although he and I play a few jazz tunes together. Ok, now Mountain View--that's where I do my classes--at CSMA. So, maybe I will have to invite you to my next recital. That might be TOO much to ask, to read my blog AND to listen to me play piano!


Welcome back Syd!! I would be nervous too. But when I watch others perform, I'm usually in awe that they have the nerves to do it.


Bridget: Now that's some good perspective.

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