I am finding myself having too much anxiety about upcoming work, and having trouble dealing with the stress.
Most of the anxiety comes from the fact that I am having to play so many different instruments but also from rearranging an already jam-packed schedule. A more disciplined musician would probably not have a problem organizing the hour and a half a day I now have to devote to maintaining not only the hardware (instruments in working order, safe amount of broken-in reeds) but also maintaining at least an adequate level of sound and flexibility on all instruments. Of course for much of my work”adequate” is not adequate; not only do I want to shine, I often am required to shine.
In September I will be doing my regular show position at VEGAS! The Show which is Alto Sax, Baritone Sax and Clarinet; a week of Lion King Shows where I am required to play Flute, Piccolo, various pan flutes (including Bass Toyos), various bansuri, dizi and irish flute. This is especially challenging as the bamboo instruments are very unreliable and it is a challenge to play them in tune enough. I am very excited that I will be playing tenor sax, flute and clarinet on Nathan Tanouye’s upcoming big band concert, mostly of his original compositions; beautiful music that requires a high level of musicianship and adequate rehearsal time to bring the music to life. For the last 2 weeks of September I will be involved in some massive State Farm trade show with many rehearsals and shows. We don’t yet know which instruments I will be playing or what the music might be.
Also very stressful to me is all the schedule juggling I have yet to settle. I have to find replacements for myself at VEGAS! which is currently running 14 shows a weeks. Luckily, I have enough subs trained and ready to cover for me. My day job is much harder to cover, especially with the current, inflexible staff we have now.
It might sound like I’m complaining, but I’m really not. I am truly grateful that I am working as much as I am during these tough economic times and I relish the different work that helps to keep my mind and skills sharp. I just wanted to share how much anxiety this kind of work can cause me. Like I said earlier, this would be simple for a more disciplined person.