There are things I let stress me out. I know that’s simply … well … shocking!

Tonight I got to the pit and got set up. It was 65 degrees in there when I sat down. I know that for many of you that is just fine, but I’m a wimpy California girl, so I wasn’t thrilled. Stress #1.

I pulled out my reeds and dipped them in water and let them wake up. Ugh. My reeds were totally different from the last time we performed (Sunday). Since I didn’t play yesterday, and I don’t use my performance reeds with my students, I only found this out when I got into the pit. And yes, that’s not a good idea. But there you go. I knew I could deal. Stress #2.

Shortly after that, two people I know came down to say “hi”. Uh-oh. Stress #3. I know it’s silly, but one of them is a former musician so I knew that would be a stress issue. Add to that the fact that another person had already mentioned that he’d be at the performance as well. Stress #4.

And then, just to make me full stressed, a conductor I work with (and have since 1975) appeared. In the front row. So there’s Stress #5.

Now of course everyone deals with stress. And yes, I am used to it. But I just wasn’t in the mood. And while I made no mistakes I just wasn’t happy with anything I did. I kept thinking, “I wonder what Mr. Conductor is thinking of what I just played. Coulda been better. Rats.”

I’m just that crazy. And I know some of you will kindly write and tell me how to fix myself. But maybe … just maybe … I am embracing my craziness. Maybe I’ll run with it, in fact. Maybe it’ll be what makes me famous.

Or not.

Oh, and the temperature is quite fickle now. It warmed up to 68 when we began the overture. The curtain rose and it dropped two degrees. Then, during the second half, it actually reached 70. Who’da thunk it?

Like I said earlier, layers. I’m gonna bring layers from here on out. 🙂

In other news, I joined the Twitter crowd, even though I can’t for the life of me figure out why it’s any different than the status updates in Facebook. We’ll see what I decide to do there … I might not stick around. For now, though, I’m Pattyoboe.

And now it’s off to bed. With no after opera snack, because I’m finding that if I eat this late I’ll not sleep well at all. (Darn!)


  1. I don’t feel as bad now about not coming up to the pit to try to meet you – sounds like you had plenty on your mind without having to worry about junkies of your blog like me 😉 Kudos, though, I should really try to convince others around here to make the trip down to San Jose for the opera some time (if only the web site publicized the $11 student tickets…)

  2. Yes to all of those stressers. I can feel your pain.
    I miss eating at night too. Dratted AR!

  3. Yup, sometimes it’s magical – intonation is happy, tone is beautiful, all the notes speak and all the entrances are comfy.

    Then there are the times when it feels like every note requires Sisyphean effort, and the intonation is never sure, and what’s with that strange sound, and is this where I come in?

    Usually things are more in-between, though (I think the worst is where it feels, at first, like it’s going to be smooth-as-silk, but it ends up being smooth-as-jackhammer, if that makes sense).

    The first situation makes one want to play again, and the second makes one appreciate all the hard work that allows one to get through it, so it’s all good, right?

    Although I personally much prefer the first situation. 🙂

  4. Thanks “igilen” … but I did want to meet you! Although, truth be told, I’m an introvert and all that jazz. Maybe next time? Will you be coming to Carmen. (Not my favorite opera, but oh well!)

    Ceci: Dratted AR indeed! And, even without that, I started being unable to eat later in the evening due to RLS (restless leg syndrome). So such is life, eh? Thing is, I DID cave and eat something like five almonds. And then proceeded to be restless nearly all night. When will I learn …?

    And yes to all of that, Tim. But, woulnd’t you know, I received compliments and my colleagues seemed unaware of my discomfort. Like one said, “I don’t care how you felt … I liked how you played!” (As she smiled knowingly … she’s the other oboist and she knows exactly how it all feels since she plays principal in SSV.)

    I do think I played okay. I just wanted to feel better about it!

  5. Maybe next time indeed…but I probably won’t make it to Carmen (I have a hard time liking that opera…). Maybe SSV sometime though 😉 Cheers!