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 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers
Author: clarinetistra 
Date:   2006-03-29 04:37

I'm curious about how many folk who've tried beta blockers feel that using them in competition is unfair. What I notice posted here, claiming unfair advantage, is from people who haven't tried them or perhaps firsthand understand what they do and don't do.

When I've used them, I haven't experienced the sense of "can conquer all"- I've still had the adrenaline rush of performing, the same rolling my eyes when I make a silly mistake (and hopes that it doesn't happen again!), a little of the normal nervousness of performing. The BB's taken the edge off, helped me get past it and move onto the next notes, not let the mistakes cause me to snowball into the downward cycle of one mistake breeding geometric progressions of more. I play a lot of memorized music, and a fair amount of improvising- a lot of potential for anxiety about missed notes to breed more.

I wrote earlier that I'd also been on anti-anxiety meds before (paxil)- same thing. Life still had its ups and downs, but the worries were from real reasons, and not "out of nowhere," stopping me in my tracks or making me unable to get out of bed in the morning. I think it's hard for people who experience only "normal" anxiety, nervousness, jitters, ups and downs, to fathom what it's like for those who have debilitating issues with it.

The idea of "unfair advantage" in auditions is equally nonsensical to me as the advantage of alertness coffee drinkers experience after their morning dose, or the needs of asthmatics or diabetics or the other myriads of folks taking meds before their auditions. The performance enhancement that the meds offer is to be able to keep a sense of reality about what's in front of you rather than allow anxiety to debilitate. I'm no doctor, but my understanding of steroids' contribution to "performance enhancement" differs by a long shot.

Are we truly a Darwinistic enough community to say that people who use a prescription drug for a medically recognized condition don't deserve the symphony jobs as much as those who don't have that condition to begin with?

My kudos go to those who recognize they have a problem and take active steps toward solving it, including medical intervention. As a concertgoer, I don't care who in the symphony uses meditation, who has a shot before the gig, who takes beta blockers. I care about hearing a good performance.

FWIW, I rarely perform classically, haven't taken an audition in years, tho I do gig often. I occasionally use BB's, but not for every gig. I used to be horribly debilitated by performance anxiety, to the point where I almost quit playing, and yes, that was after trying everything under the sun that I could find before the drugs- from visualization and meditation techniques to clove cigarettes. I feel fortunate to have found a solution in the BB's before quite reaching the quitting point.

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 Topics Author  Date
 One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Ken Shaw 2006-03-24 17:10 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
crnichols 2006-03-24 17:37 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
LCL 2006-03-24 17:40 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-03-24 18:36 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
TonkaToy 2006-03-24 19:51 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
johng 2006-03-24 20:13 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
J. J. 2006-03-24 22:40 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Super Mario 2006-03-24 23:20 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
J. J. 2006-03-25 01:09 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Super Mario 2006-03-25 02:29 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-25 02:41 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-25 02:51 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-25 06:45 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
J. J. 2006-03-25 02:58 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-03-25 08:36 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Morrigan 2006-03-25 10:44 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Markael 2006-03-25 11:28 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-03-25 11:44 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-25 16:21 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-03-25 16:50 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-25 17:43 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-25 17:53 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-03-25 19:03 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
clarnibass 2006-03-25 19:24 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Sylvain 2006-03-25 21:16 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-03-25 22:14 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Mark Charette 2006-03-25 22:21 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Sylvain 2006-03-25 22:30 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Sylvain 2006-03-27 03:42 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
EEBaum 2006-03-25 22:59 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-25 23:18 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
clarnibass 2006-03-26 04:04 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-03-26 08:34 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Sylvain 2006-03-26 14:16 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
allencole 2006-03-26 16:22 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Mary Jo 2006-03-26 18:34 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
3dogmom 2006-03-26 18:37 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-26 19:26 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
EEBaum 2006-03-26 19:18 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Ken Shaw 2006-03-26 19:52 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
crnichols 2006-03-26 20:14 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Synonymous Botch 2006-03-27 10:28 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
allencole 2006-03-27 14:37 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-27 17:00 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-27 17:08 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-27 17:15 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Sylvain 2006-03-27 18:55 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-27 20:12 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-03-27 20:32 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Mark Charette 2006-03-27 20:59 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-03-28 05:29 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
clarinetistra 2006-03-27 20:19 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Sylvain 2006-03-27 21:06 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-27 21:24 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-27 21:35 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-27 21:50 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Mary Jo 2006-03-27 21:36 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
diz 2006-03-27 22:08 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
EEBaum 2006-03-28 04:59 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-28 05:13 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
clarnibass 2006-03-28 05:32 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-28 05:44 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
EEBaum 2006-03-28 06:16 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-28 07:03 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ghuba 2006-03-28 12:34 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
TonkaToy 2006-03-28 13:45 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Sylvain 2006-03-28 17:35 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-28 18:35 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-28 18:57 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Brenda Siewert 2006-03-28 19:52 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-28 20:06 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Liquorice 2006-03-28 20:39 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
DaveF 2006-03-28 22:57 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Meri 2006-03-28 22:36 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
johng 2006-03-28 22:37 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-28 22:42 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
JessKateDD 2006-03-28 22:43 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Sylvain 2006-03-28 22:52 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-29 04:26 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-29 04:36 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-29 04:58 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
clarinetistra 2006-03-29 04:37 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-29 05:55 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-03-29 07:27 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-29 13:08 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Mary Jo 2006-03-29 14:37 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-29 15:50 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-29 16:09 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-29 16:47 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
BlockEyeDan 2006-03-29 18:40 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-29 19:10 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
JessKateDD 2006-03-29 21:17 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-29 23:10 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Old Geezer 2006-03-29 23:39 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-29 23:56 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-30 00:29 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-30 00:57 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-30 01:06 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
mtague 2006-03-30 01:19 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
JessKateDD 2006-03-30 01:38 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
george 2006-03-30 02:35 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-30 02:54 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
EEBaum 2006-03-30 08:06 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Nowhereman1 2006-03-30 08:35 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ohsuzan 2006-03-30 12:06 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
clarnibass 2006-03-30 13:02 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Sylvain 2006-03-30 13:57 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Brenda Siewert 2006-03-30 15:10 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ghuba 2006-03-30 16:22 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Mark Charette 2006-03-30 16:41 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ghuba 2006-03-30 17:19 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-30 16:06 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-30 16:42 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Gregory Smith 2006-03-30 19:15 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Sylvain 2006-03-30 21:29 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
ginny 2006-03-30 23:05 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
sherman 2006-03-31 14:45 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-03-31 19:19 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
Carol Dutcher 2006-03-31 19:33 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
3dogmom 2006-03-31 20:34 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
DaveF 2006-04-01 08:57 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
tictactux 2006-04-01 11:24 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
EEBaum 2006-04-02 00:13 
 Re: One in Four Classical Musicians Use Beta Blockers  new
CK 2006-04-02 18:14 


 This thread is closed 
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