Ok. So let's start with this bit.
I had to play this a number of times tonight. It is fast and high - my unfavouritest combination. I am the only person playing it over the rhythm section and it comes repeatedly and straight in after a rather long break from playing.
After a few panicked and messy times through this bit I started to get a thing about it. We musicians often 'get a thing' about a bits. We screw it up once or twice, we feel embarrassed or even ashamed that we can't get it right and it winds down into a 'thing' where it feels like everyone around you can hear you are stuffing it up and you think everyone is staring at you.
So for this bit, I stupidly even drew attention to myself, apologising to the conductor for it being so bad. Awkward. Then I started to feel even more self-conscious and it got worse. I started thinking things like 'well, this is the last time they will ever book you because of this', and 'well, this is the end of your career old lady'. I imagined people listening in the auditorium sitting embarrassed with their heads in their hands talking about it with my split notes ringing around the auditorium.
It was about then that I also noticed that the scaffolding on which the band is sitting 3 meters off the floor is rocking quite markedly. There are lots of dancers jumping around. It was then that I had a bright idea. I said 'what about some self-kindness, you idiot. Here you are playing this really difficult exposed solo for the very first time in this venue and with headphones. On a rocking scaffolding. With all this harsh negative self talk. This is not helpful!!!'
I had all of a sudden disrupted the unhelpful perfectionist loop.
The next few times I played it were not perfect, but they were better.