A Memorable Performance

Feb 27, 2020

When I lived in Massachusetts, I played in the Newton Symphony. That’s a community orchestra. You didn’t have to play very well to play in it. And I was in the back of the section and I was happily sawing away following behind everybody. And then they said, “Well, we’re going to play at the Chestnut Hill Mall and we need a small group.” So somehow I said, “Okay, I’ll do it.” And at the end there were just a few of us.

So as the time got closer, I thought, “Oh my God. I’m going to perform in front of people. And it’s just a couple of cellos. I don’t know if I can do this.” So I took some Enderol. It’s a heart medicine. It stops the fight or flight instincts and it calms you down. So I thought, “Okay, I’m all set.” And we started to play and I thought, “Oh my God.” I had all the thoughts that were in my head. “Oh my God, someone’s going to hear me play. I’m a terrible cellist.” But my arm was just as steady.

No heartbeat. The body was doing the right thing. The mind was going crazy, but the body performed. That was a high point for me.