6.18.15: Overcoming Stage Fright & The Bicycle's Contentious History with the Road

Jun 18, 2015

Aphonia, flop sweat, mic fright. Call it what you will, stage fright can be crippling for some performers. On today’s show: a pianist delves into the history of performance anxiety, and her own struggle to overcome it

Then, between recent spikes in bicycle commuters and bike-friendly infrastructure, arguments over who owns the road are commonplace, but hardly new. We’ll take a look at the bicycle’s fraught history with pedestrians, automobiles and even horse-drawn carriages.  

Listen to the full show

A History and Memoir of Stage Fright

Sara Solovitch joins us to talk about her new book, Playing Scared: A History and Memoir of Stage Fright.

Watch Joe Kowan talk about how he overcame stage fright.


Edith Savitsky has a budding career in show business, but it was cut short by stage fright. Producer Steve Mencher has more.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.


The Battle for Bikes on the Road

James Longhurst is associate professor history at the University of Wisconsin, Lacrosse – in his new book Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road, he reveals how the social and legal status of bicycles was debated even in the years before the automobile.  

Related: 150 Years of Bike Lane Battles

James has also created a playlist of videos he came across while researching bicycle history. 

On the Bly

With the help of historians Joyce Chaplin and Matthew Goodman, BackStory producer Nina Earnest has the story of journalist Nellie Bly’s 1889 race ’round the world against Elizabeth Bisland. This story comes from the BackStory episode "Speed Through Time: The Changing Pace of America."

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.