Pulitzer Prize for Music
I think I enjoy being nervous sometimes. It's good. It's like whenever you are getting ready to get into a fight, you get nervous. You say, "Oh, well, looks like we're gonna have to fight." You'll be going up with somebody that'll try or just take your money or just tell you something you didn't want to hear. You really didn't want to fight because deep down you have the feeling that you are going to get beat up, but it makes you just pull something out of yourself. I'm gonna get beat up, but that's all right. I'm gonna put something out here. I get nervous sometimes when I play. Students ask me all the time, "I get nervous, what should I do?" I just tell them, just figure that the people that are there to hear you, they want to hear something sound good, and there is nothing you would rather be doing in front of all them people than playing because that's what you spend most of your time doing. Auditions are the worst. You get more nervous I think for that than playing for people. Because with people, you get a certain warmth. For an audition, everybody is doing a job. "Oh, well, let's see if he can play." And you know the people who are listening to you are really on the highest level of hearing, and they can really discern every mistake. When I get nervous, my palms start to sweat, my mouth gets dry, but I think, you know, "Wynton, you gotta play!" Hope it comes out; sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.
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