It is amazing how the slightest thing can totally change your perspective on an event. I practiced, adapted where necessary, visualized the performance, took care to wisely plan my trip, etc. Yet one off-hand comment snared me. In talking summer with colleagues, I mentioned my upcoming concert.
"So how many weeks do you have to practice before you leave?"
"I leave the day after graduation."
An incredulous chuckle and "Good luck with that!" followed.
That was all it took for me to seriously question my endeavor. Had I really been wise in my planning and preparation?
I mentally reviewed everything, looking for kinks in the armor. It took a few hours of honest doubt. No matter what I scrutinized, I felt no cause for worry. You never know where or when a comment may come, so how do you prep for this?
Knowing that you have prepared thoroughly brings a level of confidence. You worked hard in practice, listened to teachers, studied out details, etc. The emphasis is on hard work. Without it, any comment may perhaps be true. You will go to a performance anxious, because you know of worst case scenarios to which you are susceptible. Calming the anxiety may prove troublesome. Why? The performance anxiety is accurately assessing your situation!
Preparation means you have seen the worst cases, and you got this. You acknowledged things could happen, thought over how to handle them, and practiced with them in mind. I cannot imagine moving on from one chuckle (and it was only one!!) to my concert without that.
Yes, a live performance has unknown variables. Things might happen, and I have no control. The main fear behind all of those situations is fear of embarrassing ourselves in front of a group of people. However, if you have done your best, you can stop focusing on results. Smile at a mistake that marks you as human. Enjoy performing. Not everyone will love you. Fine. You will play, it will go as it is meant to go, and... You know what? ...100 years from now, will that one moment in time matter so much? It is really all about striving to be faithful in all the little steps that bring you to that moment.
So yes, I am on a plane, I have a concert......and it's all good. :)