Because I was the only cellist at rehearsal this past Thursday night I made a very conscious effort to count and listen even more carefully than usual as we were playing. I felt relaxed and confident, and although there were times when I lost my place (as is usual for me, a novice yet at playing with an orchestra and following a conductor) I thought I handled the situation quite well, without feeling shattered or traumatized. In fact I even wrote “YAY!” and drew a smiley face in my day planner when I got home that night.
I was feeling quite good about it all … that is, until the following evening when I ran into an orchestra member who’d been present at that rehearsal. One of the first things she said to me was, “I heard you had a rough time last night.” My immediate reaction was confusion; I thought maybe she was talking about the traffic or something. Then I realized that she was referring to the fact that I was the only cellist at rehearsal. [She heard I had a rough time. Heard how? Was my playing that bad? Could she hear me getting lost? Was I that much off key that she could hear me, even though she was sitting 2 rows behind me? Did someone else hear me play off key and tell her about it? Was everybody talking about how badly I’d played?]
Without taking obvious offense or questioning her further, I did let her know in no uncertain terms, that I was indeed very satisfied with the rehearsal even though the other two cellists were not present, and that it most certainly was not a “rough” time.
However, later that evening more paranoia set in regarding the rehearsal:
- Had Maestro asked to play my cello during the break that night because he wanted to amuse himself (he’s done this before; he’s also a cellist) or because he wanted to see what kind of tone my cello is really capable of?
- When Maestro jangled his car keys in the air during “Washington Post March” and yelled out “KEY SIGNATURE!!” (because it had changed to Ab major) was he directing the pun at me?
- Did Maestro’s technical suggestion to me (hold fingers closer to fingerboard during a fast repetitive passage) make others think I was having a “rough” night? (Actually, I rather enjoyed the personal attention and positive constructive advice that he gave to me.)
I’ve had several days to ponder all of the above, the outcome being that it’s only served to motivate me further to practice more. So maybe paranoia can be a good thing sometimes.
Labels: motivation, orchestra rehearsal, paranoia, practice