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  1. #1
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    because of the empathic reaction

    1, Did Carly Simon take an opposite starategy to Sviatoslav Richter to get rid of their stage fright?
    2. What does "empathic reaction" mean here? Does she try to draw attention from the audience?
    3. What does "take it away from me" mean here?


    st146) One of Laurence Olivier’s ways of coping with stage fright was to ask his fellow actors not to look him in the eye. “They generously agreed, and managed ①looking attentively to either side of my face,” he wrote of his performance as Shylock in the National Theatre production of The Merchant of Venice in 1970. “For some reason this made me feel ②that there was not quite so much loaded against me.” Fry had the opposite experience. ....he says. “If they’re not going ③to meet your eye, there’s something wrong with them, or they think there’s something wrong with you.”
    Sviatoslav Richter, whom Prokofiev thought “the best pianist … in the world,” coped with his stage fright by turning the lights on the audience and -- except for a reading light on his sheet music -- off himself. The illusion of invisibility freed Richter and ④allowed the listener, he said, “to concentrate on the music rather than on the performer.” Some performers, like Carly Simon, on the other hand, choose to have the lights on the audience “because of the empathic reaction.” She says, “When I feel I don’t have the audience, when they’re not warm, I’ll pick out one person, usually in the first four rows, and sing a song directly to that person. He or she will get embarrassed and ⑤turn to people on his right or left. Therefore the embarrassment, or the focus I’m putting on him, takes it away from me.”

  2. #2
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    Re: because of the empathic reaction

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    1, Did Carly Simon take an opposite starategy to Sviatoslav Richter to get rid of their stage fright?
    2. What does "empathic reaction" mean here? Does she try to draw attention from the audience?
    3. What does "take it away from me" mean here?


    st146) One of Laurence Olivier’s ways of coping with stage fright was to ask his fellow actors not to look him in the eye. “They generously agreed, and managed ①looking attentively to either side of my face,” he wrote of his performance as Shylock in the National Theatre production of The Merchant of Venice in 1970. “For some reason this made me feel ②that there was not quite so much loaded against me.” Fry had the opposite experience. ....he says. “If they’re not going ③to meet your eye, there’s something wrong with them, or they think there’s something wrong with you.”
    Sviatoslav Richter, whom Prokofiev thought “the best pianist … in the world,” coped with his stage fright by turning the lights on the audience and -- except for a reading light on his sheet music -- off himself. The illusion of invisibility freed Richter and ④allowed the listener, he said, “to concentrate on the music rather than on the performer.” Some performers, like Carly Simon, on the other hand, choose to have the lights on the audience “because of the empathic reaction.” She says, “When I feel I don’t have the audience, when they’re not warm, I’ll pick out one person, usually in the first four rows, and sing a song directly to that person. He or she will get embarrassed and ⑤turn to people on his right or left. Therefore the embarrassment, or the focus I’m putting on him, takes it away from me.”
    1 I don't think there's any point of comparison; the text doesn't say that Carly Simon has stage fright.
    2 I'm not convinced she knows what empathic means, and I'm not sure what she's talking about. It may be something to with each individual in the audience being aware of other members of the audience and reacting to the music in a way that an isolated individual wouldn't.
    3 It = focus

    b

  3. #3
    keannu's Avatar
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    Re: because of the empathic reaction

    Thanks a lot, so I think the first "turning the lights on the audience " means "physically turning lights on the audience" to avoid their attention, while the second "have the lights on the audience " means the figurative meaning of "paying attention on the audience" as it's another strategy of lessening your fright. What do you think?

    Sviatoslav Richter, whom Prokofiev thought “the best pianist … in the world,” coped with his stage fright by turning the lights on the audience and -- except for a reading light on his sheet music -- off himself. The illusion of invisibility freed Richter and ④allowed the listener, he said, “to concentrate on the music rather than on the performer.” Some performers, like Carly Simon, on the other hand, choose to have the lights on the audience “because of the empathic reaction.” She says, “When I feel I don’t have the audience, when they’re not warm, I’ll pick out one person, usually in the first four rows, and sing a song directly to that person. He or she will get embarrassed and ⑤turn to people on his right or left. Therefore the embarrassment, or the focus I’m putting on him, takes it away from me.”

  4. #4
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    Re: because of the empathic reaction

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Thanks a lot, so I think the first "turning the lights on the audience " means "physically turning lights on the audience" to avoid their attention, while the second "have the lights on the audience " means the figurative meaning of "paying attention on the audience" as it's another strategy of lessening your fright. What do you think?

    Sviatoslav Richter, whom Prokofiev thought “the best pianist … in the world,” coped with his stage fright by turning the lights on the audience and -- except for a reading light on his sheet music -- off himself. The illusion of invisibility freed Richter and ④allowed the listener, he said, “to concentrate on the music rather than on the performer.” Some performers, like Carly Simon, on the other hand, choose to have the lights on the audience “because of the empathic reaction.” She says, “When I feel I don’t have the audience, when they’re not warm, I’ll pick out one person, usually in the first four rows, and sing a song directly to that person. He or she will get embarrassed and ⑤turn to people on his right or left. Therefore the embarrassment, or the focus I’m putting on him, takes it away from me.”
    No, it means the same thing. The physical lights are on the physical audience, but the reasons for that are different.
    I assume by "empathic reaction" she means she feels more empathy with the crowd if she can see them. Or that the lights are on everyone, not just her.

  5. #5
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    Re: because of the empathic reaction

    Thanks a lot! I have to explain the intention of "Carly Simon" to students, and as both of you said, the meaning of "empathic reaction" is vague.
    It seems she uses it to actively interact with the audience, unlike Sviatoslav Richter, but "takes it away from me" part seems to either reduce attention from the audience or to scatter attention among the audience. It's quite vague what she or the writer tried to say. If anyone has further opinion, please let me know.

    Therefore the embarrassment, or the focus I’m putting on him, takes it away from me.”

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