Thursday, May 22, 2008

Recital Day and the Pit of Dread

May 22. Recital Day is finally here. I woke up yesterday feeling the Pit of Dread in my middle parts, along with the accompanying stomach problems. Last summer, I began working on Debussy's Clair de lune, and even after my lessons stopped when school started again, I kept working on it. Although I had lessons off and on (more off than on) during my childhood and college years, I had never tackled a piece of this caliber. Hands-down, it's the hardest thing I've ever played, and Kim, our piano teacher, never tried to dissuade me from attempting it, though I can only imagine what she must have been thinking. I managed to work up the entire piece over the winter, and even though my accuracy with the left-hand runs isn't quite at 100%, I know it is recital-ready. Problem is, over the past 15 years or so, I've developed a debilitating case of stage fright.

It's perplexing because I performed for so many years throughout high school and college without blinking an eye. There were times I should have died of embarrassment, but I just grinned and kept on going. But now, 17 years later, sometimes I can't even make it through my piano lessons without my hands shaking badly enough to make playing impossible. Add a few new faces to the audience, and my legs start shaking too. Very, very frustrating!

After I played Clair de lune for Kim again this spring, she began talking about me playing it at the spring recital. I told her I just didn't know if I'd be able to do it. But the more I thought about it, the more I became determined that this would not be one more time in my life when I sit on the sidelines, watching everyone else and wishing I could do it too. And so I'm doing it. Who knows what the audience will be thinking: We didn't come to see a MOM play... who is this crazy woman? It's some comfort that my buddy Marcia will also be playing, even though she's doing a duet, because otherwise I might not have the courage to make a fool of myself. Misery and fools love company.

In a sick twist of scheduling, I found out that the entire family's dentist appointments, which are scheduled many months in advance, are this afternoon. The dentist is not something to be rescheduled when you have as many teeth as we have in our family. I discovered that my hair color appointment- also scheduled months in advance- was also this morning. I called my hairstylist and explained that I could not handle the stress of new hair, the dentist and a recital all on the same day, but she was not very sympathetic. She couldn't work me in again until after John and I get back from our vacation in June. Oh, the sacrifices. So... Tonight. 6:30. Me and Clair de lune. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

~ Stephanie. said...

DOGGONE IT WOMAN! I didn't read this until Friday! I would LOVE to have been there! How'd it go? Will you play it for me sometime? It is one of my favorite pieces - I played for my 3rd recital back in 197somethingorother . . . It's also the closing song in "Ocean's 11" - gotta get a little movie trivia in there as well! Hope it went great!