On Dutch national television Zlata plays violin and talks about stage fright

On Dutch national television Zlata plays violin and talks about stage fright


Singing or performing
in front of an audience, a large audience in a large theatre. You not only have to be talented but you also have to have guts. Esther van Fenema has done research
and found that one in three artists suffers from stage fright. And that stage fright is so severe that artists use beta blockers
to calm their nerves. Zlata Brouwer
is a violin teacher and violinist and has suffered
from stage fright for years. The tension is the worst
when you’re actually playing, but it starts in the days and weeks before the performance. When I arrive at a performance
I have a neurotic habit of always wanting to know
exactly what’s going to happen. Sometimes the performance gets pushed up. Then I’m like: “I’m up already?” The scariest moment for me
is when the hall becomes really quiet and you have to be on your game right away because you only have one shot at it. My muscles then tense up. Which causes me to start shaking. I had panic attacks from time to time. Looking at a full hall now
that’ll be completely silent and knowing that I have to perform,
that is really scary. My hands start to sweat, and my heartrate goes up. These are the scary moments. The voices in my head say:
“You can’t do this, you’re not good enough,
someone should take over, you’re going to fail,
people will laugh at you.” Could you play a bit for us? I’ll try. Stage fright is actually a symptom of a very severe feeling of fright. You feel that you’re in danger. Esther van Fenema
wrote a book on stage fright and treats musicians in the hospital. What I often see is an incidence of a performance in the past
that went quite bad. A horrible black-out. An important performance
that didn’t go well. Luckily for Zlata,
this has not been the case for her. I’ve never done
a really terrible performance where I ran off the stage, screaming, or something like that. Or have something go really bad. I think it started around puberty. It didn’t really trouble me
when I was a child. I did get bullied and didn’t want to be
the center of attention. The weird thing is that when I took
violin lessons at eight years old, I never thought to myself:
“I want to be a concert violinist.” I said: “I want to be a violin teacher. So I want to teach.” Every once and a while
Zlata has to go on stage and she sought help. But lots of musicians
don’t seek treatment for this. Having stage fright is considered taboo. Musicians, artists seek my help
and come to my clinic secretly, and that really worries me, because the stress only builds up, increasing the fear, but they have to be on stage every night and perform at their best. Fortunately there is hope
for people with stage fright. “A depression is treated
with pills or conversation”, I always say, and a traumatic experience
that resulted in stage fright can also be treated successfully
with trauma therapy such as EMDR. So there are plenty of options. I would like to tell myself that the audience is there
to have a good time. To listen to some nice music and not to see me fail, and that stage fright
simply isn’t rational, it’s not based on reality. This was it for today
from Hallo Holland. We’ll see you again tomorrow. Goodbye.

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8 thoughts on “On Dutch national television Zlata plays violin and talks about stage fright”

  • Look at you !!! Awesome!πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

  • Thanks for this. Seeing you in your native element as it were πŸ™‚
    When I use to sing someone helped me in the 70's by saying "they are here to see you, so you all ready own the audience. Now just perform like you are having fun and give them their money's worth." I hope that helps πŸ™‚
    After all, you are on stage not them. So THEY came to see YOU. So enjoy yourself and have fun πŸ™‚

    If someone were to come up to me right now in the middle of a street and say "can you sing ….." I would say sure and then start to sing it for them right there.
    Now it might be more difficult to take out your violin, but if s friend or such asked you to play something out of the blue I bet you could do it right?
    Well an audience of one or a hundred etc is just the same thing.

    Mostly just have fun and it will all go well. You will see πŸ™‚
    I hope this helps someone πŸ™‚

  • Perhaps your stage fright underlies your greatness as a violinist. One goes with the other. Your preparation becomes more immense as you focus on particulars overlooked by the vast majority of other performers. You go the extra mile. It is a great burden to carry. Yet, your fears translate into a beautiful experience for the admirers and audience who hear you play.

  • Terry Armstrong says:

    Bravo! Well done on TV. That is my very fav tune, so pretty! Masenet? A friend got into Julliard playing that perfectly! I want to try learning it.

  • This is a very important subject!

    Musicians never think we are good enough because there are always better musicians we compare ourselves too. We get nervous and stage fright sets in ONLY because WE question if we are good enough. But the fact is we are better than 99% of the people in the audience who want to hear us and don't want us to be nervous. The other 1% may be better than you but they have nothing but respect for the fact you are right on their heels. They will encourage you even more than the other 99% because they understand how you feel, they were once at your level and in your shoes.

    The only person to fear is yourself, so simply don't put that pressure on yourself.

    Also, take a drink. Rather it's a glass of wine a hour before you perform or a couple shot's backstage. Even Eddie Van Halen suffered stage fright for years and had to have a couple drinks before he went on. Just a drink or two to study the nerves, take the edge off and help you relax; don't over do it obviously!

    And finally, decide you are going to go out there and have a good time rather anyone appreciates you or not. The only person you ever have to please is yourself. If you are proud of your achievements and performance, who cares what anyone else thinks! If everyone tells you you were great, but you know you could have, should have, and will do better next time, than that's the truth regardless of what they are saying.

    The only person that can truly determine the quality of your performance is YOU! The only person you have to satisfy is YOU!

    Finally, I have never heard an audience boo anyone who is sincere! Audiences are ALWAYS supportive, even if they know you just screwed everything up. And I don't care who you are, every performer has performances when the wheels just come off for whatever reason. That's just part of performing, happens to everyone and audiences understand that.

    So the bottom line is this: If you are having fun and can be light-hearted, the audience will have fun and be light-hearted also, guaranteed, every-time, regardless of anything!

    Any musician who says they have NEVER had stage fright, is a lair. The biggest stars in the world have all had it at some point, some never get over it, but they don't let it stop them either!

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