StagefrightWritten by Tom ''Ketchfish'' Inglis
Continued from page 1
"Tonight is night of my best performance ever" "Damn, I'm good!" "Every female in house wants me" "You look pretty stupid in your underwear" Okay, I made last one up on spot but you get idea. Take a self-affirming thought, turn it into a phrase and repeat it over and over in your mind. BE ON TIME AND INSIST YOUR BANDMATES DO THE SAME Feeling frantic trying to get set up in a hurry, starting show without a sound check, having club owner watching you get ready to play, etc. These add an enormous amount of stress to beginning of your show. If you have a bandmate that constantly shows up at last minute or late, fire him and replace him. This person is no pro and he'll drag you down. If you are always late, shame on you! Buy a watch. Leave your house an hour early. Grow up, there are other people's reputations depending on you. I make it a point to be first person to arrive at a venue.but I don't go inside until second person shows up. That way I don't feel nervous in an unfamiliar place with only strangers around me. DRINK WATER No alcohol before third set. (or none at all ) And no pot smoking, it makes you paranoid. Save it for after show if you must partake. ESTABLISH A PRE-SHOW RITUAL Rituals are comforting. They make you feel comfortable in a place and in your mental space. I insist that set up be done 15 minutes minimum before show time including all sound checks. This 15 minutes is mine and I suffer no interruptions. I go to dressing room or my car and do deep breathing 5 X. I then run over first two songs in my head. I then do my mantra. At 5 minutes before show I grab a bottle of water, hit bathroom and splash my face. I time my arrival to exactly show time and count down or cue first song. No talking, no intro, just go. The goofy people in their underwear KNOW you're a professional, there to entertain them. USE THE EVIL POWER FOR GOOD I briefly mentioned "hyper-aware" state that stage fright can induce. This is your naturally occuring "fight or flee" response to a situation you percieve as dangerous. Your perceptions are heightened, you hear better, you see better...you can perform better. By way, it's not really dangerous on-stage. I've played some of roughest bars and biker clubhouses around and only time an audience member has physically attacked me is when they were an angry husband or boyfriend trying to keep me from taking their woman away from them. Just see who's with that total babe before you hit on her too hard and you're safe. SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP If nothing else works, see a counselor or doctor. There are many therapies and medications that can help with extreme stage fright. I've heard of many performers who take beta-blocking drugs and swear they do wonders. Don't let your musical talent be stifled.
Ol' Ketchfish is a songwriter and musician with years of performance experience, back to the bad old eighties. He's played every kind of venue from dirt floor barrooms to church halls, from stadiums to small town bandstands. At every gig, he's experienced stagefright and he's found some techniques to use it to his advantage, so can you with a little practice. Check out his website at http://clik.to.ketchfish for more information.
The Dark Side of P2P File Sharing ProgramsWritten by Bill Paulk
Continued from page 1
The legal status of P2P file sharing programs is confusing. We know that MP3 files themselves are not illegal. For example, it's legal to possess MP3s, to rip your CDs to your hard drive, and to burn CDs for your personal use. But, by sharing and/or downloading these files, you are breaking copyright laws. To my knowledge, P2P scam sites are not actually breaking any laws. But why pay for something you don't have to? One of most common techniques these scam artists use is to set up sites that are misspellings or derivations of popular P2P file sharing programs. KaZaA is probably most hijacked name being used these days. Other sites may not actually charge you anything at all, but they'll "give you software for free" if you give them your email address. This too is a scam. Because once again, they're just sending you along to a proper P2P program, but after collecting your email address, they're selling it to third parties. Don't give these scammers any of your personal information! If you're on a website you trust, even this website, you may see ads by these scam artists, preaching their lies about 100% blah, blah, blah. For your own security, don't click on links. They're still scams. (Many independent websites rely on ads to pay bills. We don't always have full control over what advertisements appear on our sites. Keep in mind that most online advertisements are arranged and distributed by third-party companies who pair up advertisements with appropriate keywords. So a page that discusses "music downloads" is likely to have an ad from a scam site singing their own false praises.) On this note, there are sites all over Internet that actually promote P2P scam sites. Why? I have my opinions. First, these scam sites are paying large sums of money to affiliates who promote their sites. For example, a scam site may be charging you $29.95 for their non-service. Well, they're paying affiliates over half (I've seen pay-out as high as 75%) of that just for getting you, visitor, to their scam sites.
I Think I've Used One of these Scam Sites. What Do I Do Now? Stop! Right now, stop using that service. If you've got some type of monthly payment with them, stop paying them. Cancel your "membership," contact your bank or credit card company, and stop paying them immediately! Secondly, your computer has probably have been infected by spyware, and you need to remove it right away. I recommend purchasing spyware-removal software like Pest Patrol because they do best job at clearing out spyware parasites. If you've been pulled into a scam site, just rack it up to experience. Their ad copy is very convincing, and you just wanted to "be legal" while downloading. Take heart in knowing that you're not alone. But you're better off now, with this information at your disposal. In my opinion, this is another reason to consider not using P2P file sharing programs as a means to get your online music. I think that these P2P scam sites will increase in number, and will use more clever tactics to get your money and your information. Until peer-to-peer communities are regulated in some way, I fear that these types of activities will get worse before they improve.
A former financial advisor and NYC book editor, Bill Paulk blends these two experiences by helping people make sound buying decisions. His passion, building digital music collections through MP3 downloads, is the subject of his first website. www.mp3-music-downloads-scout.com reviews and recommends the best in legal MP3 downloads.