Being nervous is nothing to be nervous about!
Big show, small show, it doesn’t matter, you just have the feeling that your heart is pounding right out of your chest and your stomach hangs around you knees. Sounds familiar? Welcome to the club, you’re nervous.
Being nervous is one of my main problems whenever I’m going to play a set. Every time I finish I get the best response from the audience, the organization and the promoter, but it doesn’t help. Next time I’m just as nervous as always. Every single time I get the feeling that I didn’t prepare enough. Thoughts like: “Do I have enough of the music that people want? Maybe I’m not as good as I think or, can I mix properly tonight?” are very common for a person like me. All this kind of thoughts pop up in my head thirty minutes before it’s my time to shine. Is this bad? Well, I don’t think so!
Being nervous is maybe the best thing that can happen to me right before the gig starts, because it’ll change in some sort of superfocus the minute I’m on stage. It will keep me in that same focus for as long as the duration of my set. Do I wish that I could have that focus without being nervous? Of course I do, but will it be still the same sort of focus then? I’m afraid not. Yeah, I really hate it, when I’m feeling sick when I’m about to go on stage.
What to do about the feeling? You just got to find a way to distract yourself from being nervous. What really helps for me is that I take a listen to some music that I like, that’ll make me forget that I’m nervous for five minutes.
In my beginning years I thought that it was very wrong to feel nervous and I’d blame myself for it. Until I found out that many of the biggest artist I know do have that same feeling. Some singers even throw up before their concert! Why aren’t they quitting? Because they have made a product so important to them self, that they feel the need that anyone should listen to their product.
So I turned the feeling around, it makes sense that I’m nervous because I want my gig to be perfect. I want my product to be perfect. And for a perfect product I need my superfocus!