Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Here I Go Again ...

****** The Editor-In-Chief wishes to apologize to all faithful SloaneView readers:

Preparations for next week's activities in New York City have consumed us, and we still don't have firm song selections for the cd. Well, there are fourteen on the list, but one or two reside in the "Iffy" column. This situation is causing restless sleep and frightening Performance Anxiety Dreams. These nocturnal intruders involve clubs or concert halls filled to capacity, audience eagerly anticipating my impending arrival on stage in five minutes, although I am pacing the floor, have yet to apply makup and can't find my music. Last night, Frank Sinatra popped into my dressing room, beaming and bright, announcing he'd made the trip from beyond just to hear me for the first time, a treat he'd denied himself when he walked among us and for which he was profoundly contrite.

This sort of disturbing, even slightly poisonous atmosphere pervades and grows more noxious each day as the actual performance date approaches. I can see next Wednesday through Sunday looming darkly, a great chasm of uncertainty. Streisand's legendary stage fright is a mere chilly breeze compared to the Category 5 tornado I am subjected to. Some of my closest friends have been long aware of this stifling stranglehold which fluctuates in intensity but has accompanied me every step of the way during my fifty-plus years of singing. (I once began to hyper-ventilate while singing in Carnegie Hall. Those moments were admittedly a lot of unexpected fun, but I've been doing my utmost ever since to prevent a similar barrel of laughs.)

I know many singers and musicians who simply can't wait to walk into the spotlight. I, however, realize full well that when the M.C. begins his introductory remarks about Carol Sloane, my knees will become liquid poles upon which my substantial frame teeters, heart-rate will accelerate to dangerous levels, hands will become icy claws shaking with fear as they grasp a microphone which waves about like a horrid black snake. (Are you getting the picture?)

With some obvious (but not much) exaggeration, I have attempted to describe the tortures I KNOW will be all mine to savour next week. Is it any wonder my first request leaving the stage is that somebody will PLEASE hand me a flute filled with a bit of the Dom . (Okay: Veuve Clicquot will do).

The Schedule:
Record new cd for Arbors: May 6 & 7, New York City
Sing a few songs with Ken Peplowski and Warren Vache at
The Iridium Jazz Club, NYC (scroll below to particulars)
May 8, 9, 10


Barbara L. said...

I think many of us share the same anxieties. I wonder sometimes how certain singers seem to breeze into and through their gigs with nary a hint of stage fright. But I also don't think there's any corrolation between overt confidence and great artistry. I think it's the deepest, most thoughtful performers who suffer with anxiety because everything they do and share comes from a deeper, more aware place. Beverly Sills said that she threw up before every performance, even after many years of experience. That's a little comforting, isn't it?

Ms. Sloane, you are on my short list of most-respected and admired singers, along with Carmen and Elis and a few others. But not many. When singers are brave enough to pare down to the exposed essentials, that's when they're at their best, in my opinion. I look forward to hearing you, on CD and live.

Anonymous said...

Having had the pleasure of seeing you a few times in person (on our birthdays even) I must say that you have never displayed ounce of stage fright. Not only a terrific singer but a great actress as well.

Any hints on the tracks that potentially will be on your new cd? And a release date?

Best wishes for a lovely experience in NY. We, ALL OF US, are in your corner and "ruttin" for you!!

conciamp said...

I would never have guessed, having seen you perform several times. You always exude such confidence.
Just goes to show you...

We're looking forward to the new cd to add to our extensive Sloane collection.

Chrys said...

As a coach I insist on a degree of stage fright, for it can animate a performance and give it a vibrance! I always feel it, and after a few lines of the first tune, the anxiety dissipates, but the energy can remain.
I never dreamed you had stage fright. Whenever I've seen you perform, you always handle yourself with so much poise and grace that it just never occurred to me you could have been covering up anxiety.
I cannot tell you how much it would mean to my singers to hear you talk about the butterflies and you deal with it during a show. I had written to you some weeks back to inquire about whether or not you'd be willing to come and speak to my group, but I realize now that you were busy preparing for this show.
But I DO hope you'll consider it for afterwards.
You're an artist I use as an example to my students of how ones longevity and experiences can inform our authenticity when we perform. And noone does it better than you.
Much success with the show and let me know how to acquire the CD.
Chrys Page