Tag Archives: performing

Equilibrium & Epictetus

What disturbs people’s minds is not events but their judgments on events.

Epictetus, 1st Century A.D.

From The New York Times:  Dr. Albert Ellis was an internationally renowned psychologist & teacher of psychotherapists, founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and originator of modern Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), ranked by his peers as one of the world’s most influential psychotherapists.

The Times article quoted from a number of his more popular books – he wrote more than 75.  Among those quoted by them were:

Anger: How to Live With and Without It  and How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything: Yes, Anything!   Do click to go to the Amazon.com comments.

His thoughts on Freud:  “I read many books by Freud and his followers, but I could see that Sigmund was especially obsessed with the sexual “origins” of disturbance… I could also see that he was an over-generalizer and dogmatist, and therefore a poor scientist…”

Food for thought!


Wisdom from Martha Graham

“I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer.  It’s permitting life to use you in a very intense way.  Sometimes it is not pleasant.  Sometimes it is fearful.  But nevertheless it is inevitable.”

“No artist is pleased.

“There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.

“There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

Martha Graham

People in the arts understand these two quotes perfectly because we live them as an innate part of our artistic gift and resultant way of life.

Not so for the rest of the world, with talents and gifs in other areas.

Why not?

Can’t the research scientist feel just as driven?

Can’t a teacher or business owner feel similar “divine dissatisfaction?”


Singers: How to handle your performing mentality

Power Performance for Singers

Emmons & Thomas

Most performers are subject to pre- and/or -post-performance syndrome in varying degrees.  Performers may experience different levels of either or both, depending on what, when or for whom they’re performing.  This situation isn’t limited to singers.  Athletes (which singers should be) are very conscious of it.  Ever heard of sports psychology?  This is it, applied to singers.

It works.

It can be unsettling to hear sharp comments from a performer, or have them say something totally out of context, or not understand something you try to tell them, or act as if they didn’t hear what you said, or answer a completely different question from the one you asked.

Remember, they’re in the middle of a chemical, physical and mental state that has them totally focused on another time, place and activity – their performance –  not you.  Most non-performers can’t begin to imagine the kind of concentration a performer takes for granted.

Some people either don’t know this, don’t understand it, or want to take advantage of it (generally for their own benefit).  However, it is not an excuse for outright rudeness or abusive behavior!

Makes teaching or coaching quite challenging, and always interesting.

Everyone has performance moments in their lives.

Consider the bride/groom, speaker at a funeral or memorial service, or reader in church services.  They’re performing publicly, generally with no previous experience whatsoever, nor any knowledge of how to handle themselves, the situation, or their thoughts about any of it.

No wonder they’re nervous!