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Pre-Performance/Event Paranoia (NOT stagefright)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by GKon, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    Hi Folks,

    I've noticed something about myself over the years.

    Prior to performing, be it music, dancing or anything else, or
    to other events that require my physical form to be good (I used to do Muay Thai competitively) they day before and the day of the performance/event, I tend to get a type of paranoia of getting injured, cutting my finger when making a sandwich, slamming my fingers in the car door, twisting my ankle when stepping off the curb, injuring my throat/vocal chords somehow (swallowing an extra pointy not so well chewed piece of pizza?) the list goes on but most seem to involve everyday things we all do that we generally don't think about. Basically, I have the fear of having anything happen that might hamper or keep me from being able to do what I have to do at the particular performance/event.

    I've never mentioned this to anyone else before but I wonder if anyone of you go through anything similar.
  2. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I guess I AM the only one :)
  3. Tony Flow MMMM

    Tony Flow MMMM

    Dec 4, 2012
    Yeah your weird. That said I once had the lead singer/guitarists have a minor motorcycle accident the day of a gig, he had to go to ER we had to cancel
  4. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    I've only had it occasionally when I am doing something I know could injure me...like using the chainsaw or working under the hood on the car. The thought goes through my head that it could affect my gig. But I don't have a paranoia about it at all.

    I'm wondering if you actually did injure yourself before a gig in the past and it had a bad outcome? So maybe you are worried about the same thing happening.
  5. when going anywhere i'm not familiar with i freak out and try to not go, including gigs... i have to force myself to do it..

    i almost dont have the job i've had for 3 years because i freaked out on the way to my interview.

    not the same, but in the same vein.
  6. Tbone76


    Aug 24, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    It may be mild ocd. A lot of people that have that condition experience things similar to what you are describing. In some cases the fear is so great that they avoid doing certain things or going certain places out of fear that something bad will happen to them. Others feel that something bad will happen to them if they don't do something a certain amount of times (turning a light switch on and off, washing hands a certain number of times, etc). Or you could just be high-strung. It may not be a bad idea to talk to your primary care physician.
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Sounds like a touch of OCD, or some other anxiety related issue.

    My thoughts. I have no experience with your specific kind of worry, but I've experiences just about every other type of anxiety imaginable. While this may sound odd, I once had a therapist who started laughing while I was telling her of something that was really bugging me. When I asked what was up with that, she said, "Joe, I hope you take this the right way. You're a little bit neurotic, and that's awesome." She went on to tell me that if I just accepted it and took it in stride, I could use it to my benefit. It's just a different form of energy, and for many, part of being an artistic, creative, individual. Bottom line of what we talked about that day was to not fight it, but just roll with it. It's not going to kill me, and it can actually help me.

    What you're dealing with sounds like a neurotic fear to me, so thinking logically probably isn't going to help any... but I'll offer this. Think back to how many times your fear actually happened. That you were unable to perform because of an injury. I'm going to guess, none. But even if it did, or does happen, what's the worst possible case scenario? You let down a handful of close friends and collegues, and an audience of a couple of thousand people miss a show? Chances are they'll all get over it, and your future as a performer will still move forward, now with the knowledge that you can survive even your worst fear. What doesn't break us, makes us stronger. Your fear won't break you, and neither would the event you're fearing.
  8. Epidrake


    May 24, 2011
    For what it's worth I find that caffeine heightens those kinds of stresses. Doesn't hurt to try stopping for a few days to see how you feel. Good luck
  9. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I appreciate all the responses and input!

    To answer some of the questions posted (sorry, I haven't quite figured out the multiple quote option),

    @Runnerman: no I have never actually injured myself prior to any of these events or performances.
    @DwaynieAD: I DO experience that from time to time, sometimes VERY mild and I don't think about it, other times quite heavy, to where it then turns into some sort of depression/introversion and I end up staying in. I, most times, face it down though and go wherever it is I have to go, head up and a smile on my face. I will say that my Sister and Mom both definitely go through the same thing but, most times, they WON'T go and end up staying home.

    @Epidrake, thanks for that tip. I tend to drink coffee before going out so I feel more energetic. I didn't realize that it can heighten those feelings.

    To everyone that made comments about possible OCD, Neurosis etc:

    I'd like to clarify that these don't hamper me in any serious way most times. In other words they don't keep me from doing what I have to do. And, usually, when something makes me anxious, frightened or uncomfortable, I tend to purposely put myself right in the middle of it to get over the anxiety as quickly as possible, and then embrace it and move on. I've purposely lived my life that way for the last 20+ years.

    What I'm talking about is more a heightened awareness of the various things I'm doing prior to the event, considering what could possibly happen, and then being extra careful to make sure it doesn't.
    For example, when slicing bread to make sandwich, I'm always careful not to cut myself (most people are). The day of a gig, however, I am EXTRA aware and careful, thinking "Man, wouldn't it suck if I cut myself right now".

    On the other hand, in refrence to having to flick the light switch a certain number of times comment, I remember when I was a kid, I used to constantly count the number of steps I was going up and down, and then trying to come up with a rationale if the landing should be considered a step or not. Does that make sense? Wow, I haven't thought about that particular in years. TB is very cathartic, it seems!
    I do have the urge to do that now as an adult from time to time, but have trained myself to no longer think about it.

    I apologize if my original post made it sound more serious than it is. In hindsight, paranoia seems to be too heavy a word to describe what I'm feeling. I hope I've made myself a little more clear.

    I don't, however, discount the fact that it might be a mild form of neurosis or OCD or what have you. Whatever the case may be, I appreciate all of the input and comments.

    Now I need to go wash my hands 15 times. (JUST KIDDING, although a bad and insensitive joke, I must admit). :bag:
  10. I can't even count the number of concerts that I've been dying to see that I've skipped because of this. not to mention going places and hanging out with people. my wife forces me to go and i normally end up having a good time. funny enough I don't get anxious about playing out with my band most of the time. although sometimes the ride there can be a little scary if it's my first time there. def anxiety related.
  11. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Ive gotten into a car accident the day of a gig. I drove there with one headlight and a bent hood.

    I once dislocated my index finger on my fretting hand a few days before a gig.

    Ive played while suffering from tonsilitis (bass & vocals) and was spitting up blood.

    Nothing keeps me from a gig.