Mark Schulman's Conquering Life's Stage Fright
By Dendy Jarrett |
Mark Schulman's Conquering Life's Stage Fright - Book Review
Clarity, Capability, and Confidence ... from a Drummer!
by Dendy Jarrett
It's said that the #1 fear people have is performing or speaking in public. #2 is death by fire. I'll take my chances on stage!
Never has a book so struck me like an axe blow to the forehead. I completely related to this book to the point that it somehow seemed like a spiritual twist of fate that it landed in my hands. I've often said that one of the reasons I'm in the industry side of music instead of a drummer on tour with a major artist was my lack of confidence in...well...me. Although I've toured with several major artists, I was my own worst critic and constantly down on myself. And if you're like me, you may find this can carry over into other aspects of your life. This book is essential reading for those who need to overcome these kinds of issues.
I first met Mark over 25 years ago. He was a budding young drummer, and I was one of the first people to offer him a major drum company endorsement. Over the years we'd bump into each other and I did keep track of him as he successfully battled cancer and has progressed in his career with groups like Simple Minds and Foreigner, as well as solo artists like Pink, Billy Idol, Stevie Nicks, and Cher.
And through my years in the drum industry, the one thing I learned as I grew past being starstruck with artists is that these are real people. They get up, put on their clothes, brush their teeth, and have a day just like the rest of us. Mark Schulman is no exception. and this book drove that point home.
What Mark didn't know about me is that I have always suffered with stage fright — so much so that I couldn't finish my degree in music because I couldn't overcome the paralyzing fear of music jury (the private recital you must execute in front of a panel of music professors with any music program to fulfill the requirements to get your music performance degree).
So, when Mark offered me an autographed copy at this past NAMM show, he had no idea what an impact he was making on me...and hopefully you.
To show just how relevant this book can be for anyone, the book's foreword is written by Leigh Gallagher, Managing Editor for Fortune Magazine and noted TV personality.
Although Mark has performed for more than a billion people over his career, he wrote the book to transcend just the stage by explaining how the same steps he used to overcome stage fright apply to everyday life...your career, your relationships, your gigs...everything.
Not only does he explain all this with amazing clarity but he also provides action steps that help you gain understanding by providing hard, strong questions to ask yourself, plus a mission statement for each action step along the way.
The Conclusion (or Just the Beginning)
Don't be fooled that, because this book was written by a drummer, it pertains solely to drummers. You'd be depriving yourself of a book certain to become a mainstay in motivational circles.
This book is 158 pages of powerful self-improvement prowess that evokes Mark's true personality. You get the feeling he's sitting with you helping you process the information, and encouraging you along the way. There was never a dry, boring moment in the book. Not only will you feel empowered to take the stage but also your next job interview, your next wedding toast, or in any situation that puts you in the spotlight.
Conquering Life's Stage Fright will now remain on my desk at work and my bedside at night. I've found that I keep referring to certain comments and sections over and over.
Near the end of the book, Mark says he makes a conscious effort to "leave people better than when I found them. I want to inspire others to inspire others." Well, he certainly does in this book and has inspired me.
I think he'll inspire you as well. -HC-
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Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.