The Stream of Consciousness of a Performing Pianist

I used to think that only I got nervous for performances, for public speaking, for…well, really, anything public. 

And memorized.

But, after Interlochen, after hearing pretty much everyone admitted to stage fright (including my teacher, who is a world-class performer and phd of Juilliard…she had a particularly horrifying live-performance horror story), and watching some amazingly talented friends screw up, I came to the comforting conclusion that every gets that way.

So, in the light of a piano performance today, here is my stream of consciousness for ya’ll to delight in (and hopefully relate to).

*sitting in the front row, watching the performer directly before me*

Dang, this person is good. Although her hair is greasy. I wonder if people judge my hair. They probably do. I’ll put my hair up, so they can’t judge it. Oh, but then people will see my face if I mess up….I’ll leave it down. Wait. I’m not going to mess up. I’ll put it up. Wait. No. I’ll leave it…..down? Yes, down. Oh, look, my hands are all clammy now. And….there goes my heartbeat. Sounds like a bass to a techno song. That’s it. I’m screwed. It’s all because of my hair.

Oh crap.

Ok, your name is being called. Walk up there. That’s it. Should I bow? Did the performer before me bow before her performance? Will it be awkward? Ok, since I’ve paused, now I have to.

Wow, that was an awkward curtsy. Especially since I’m not wearing a dress, so I pulled out an imaginary skirt.

Sit on the chair.

Man, my heart is really working hard today.

Oh crap.

Oh crap oh crap oh crap.

What’s the first note? What piece am I playing? What am I doing? Why am I up here in the first place?

My hair is in my face.

Oh, that’s right, it’s a G. It’s a trill.

My right hand is trilling. What now. What now. My left hand does something. Anything. 

This trill is getting awkwardly long.

Oh, that’s it. There we go.

Clear your mind. Focus. This is going to be fi- 

DID A BABY JUST WHINE. BABY, ARE YOU WHINING BECAUSE I SUCK?!?! Am I that bad?

No. Focus. Screw the baby. The baby can do whatever the heck it wants. You are going to play.

Cadence. Section 2. Where does it start? How does it go? AHHHHHH- oh. Oh yeah.

This isn’t so bad.

But my hands are clammy. And my hair is still in my face. I need to move it. It’s also really hot in here. Maybe that’s why my hands are clammy.

Also my heartbeat is distracting. Why is it so loud?

This actually, in truth, is not so bad. It’s not. Really. 

Seriously.

Zone. Calm. Play. You are fi-

OMIGODOMIGOD I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S NEXT.

Omigodomigodomigod somebody kill me.

I’m stuck. I think that should be D Major. Let’s try that.

Nope, that definitely isn’t it.

A minor?

Nope.

Kill. Me.

Just play random chords. Keep the melody going. You will survive. You will survive.

Ok. OK. Come on, brain. Come on, muscle memory. Feel free to kick in. You know. Whenever is fine. Just about now would be amazing.

My. Hair. Is. In. My. Face.

Wow, my fingers look really pale.

WAIT. That was it. That was a right cadence.

GO! GO! GO! Go, muscles, like you practiced. I’m gonna zone out now. Do your thing.

Annnnnndddd….V7, I. Finish.

Stand up and face the freaking audience. Smile. SMILE. Act like you did the best freaking performance in the world.

Now walk offsta-

Wait. No. Curtsy.

Wait. No. Scratch that. Bow.

Come up smiling. You are done. You are done.

Sit. 

You are done. 

Screw my hair.

Meanwhile, piano…

Ok. So Interlochen.

I’m obsessed with piano.

Not even joking. I have not hung out with anyone. I came back, people invited me over, and I said no. 

Because I wanted to practice piano.

What just happened?

I didn’t even realize it until two weeks went by and I had hung out one time. And that was technically a club meeting.

So. I want to be a Pedagogy major. You’ve gotta practice, right? Five hours a day isn’t overkill or anything.

…I’m different.

Really. I am.

I don’t feel the need to wear makeup. It’s really not bad. And if they don’t like me because of it, then why would I want to talk to them anyway? It’s almost a good thing. I get to weed out the people who don’t care.

I’ve gotten over this caring about what people think thing. I’m going to do whatever I’m going to do, and I’m going to stay true to my beliefs and morals and do what I think is right. I don’t care about social status or whatever crap. I don’t really care if my profile picture only got had as many likes as before; I’m not going to change it back. Because I honestly don’t care.

I wear whatever I want, even if it doesn’t fit the current fashion. I’m going to listen to classical music and tell people. Heck, I’m going to tell people I’m in band.

Social suicide? Maybe. But I couldn’t care less. Thanks, Interlochen. Life changing for sure.

Friend ML

I honestly don’t know how I didn’t see this coming. Reading through all my ‘IJournals’….um, it was obvious.

But here’s my defense.

Friend ML is nice to everyone. And he does random acts of kindness for everyone. And he sort of didn’t do that for me. Like, he wouldn’t hug me at random times although everyone else did.

But he came to my hut like every day (I didn’t really notice that until I read it) and he always ditched his friends to sit with me, and hang out with me. And everywhere I invited him, he always came, even if you could tell he didn’t want to.

Arg.

IJournals: 42 (8/6)

So I’m not actually writing this in the airport, but I just wanted to record it.

My plane had a freaking 8 hour layover. It was only supposed to be 3. I sat a in dark corner of the airport and just called people. I called friend SH first, and he was so cute and nice and just same old adorkable SH, but he had to go sleep within like 20 minutes. So then I called friend MK, and we talked for 2 hours because she was unpacking.

Then I called friend ML a few times, because he was the one I originally promised to call in the airport, but he never picked up his phone, though I did miss a few calls from him.

Finally, right before boarding the plane, he calls me and I pick up. It’s like 3 AM for him, and I was so confused as to why he was awake. I was practically delirious, though, and the flight was taking off, so we didn’t say much. But just knowing that he stayed up (I think) to call me was really amazing.