With December just about over, my thoughts and attention have turned to the January chamber program. I am playing a concerto with the orchestra on that concert and I have already started having nightmares.
I'm not terribly worried about the performance itself. (Yet. Those nightmares won't start until a few days before the performance.) I'm excited to be playing a lesser-known work written by a great composer. The thing that scares me is getting on and off the stage without tripping. I know it sounds ridiculous, but this has always been the aspect of performing that causes me the most anxiety.
When I'm in a situation where I will be making an entrance, I have to make a plan. As the sole female member of the Principal Quartet, I have the honor of walking out first when we perform. Last season I was so flustered by walking on stage that I nearly missed my chair when I sat down. This season we practiced walking on stage several times before our first concert. I'm sure the boys thought I had completely lost my mind but they indulged me anyway.
My philosophy that shoes should not be painful to wear, along with my above-average height, means that I don't wear high heels on a regular basis. I hardly ever stand in them for extended periods of time. I am not comfortable in them. Actually, I think I'd be steadier on roller skates. For this upcoming concert, I have started practicing in the shoes I plan to wear to lessen my odds of doing a face-plant on my way on and off the stage. I don't know, though. The roller skates are sounding like a safer option every day.