Fifty One Percent
51 Percent
#1462: A Percussionist Opens Up About Her Performance Anxiety

On this week’s 51%, a percussionist with an opera orchestra talks about her performance anxiety, and find out how specially trained nurses can help in rape cases.

What if the thing you really love to do makes you so anxious it gets in the way of doing your job? For Patti Niemi, a percussionist with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, her first experience with anxiety cropped up while in her second year at Juilliard, causing her hands to shake uncontrollably. Niemi wrote a memoir called “Sticking It Out: From Juilliard to the Orchestra Pit, A Percussionist’s Memoir.” And she spoke with Lauren Schiller of Inflection Point from KALW about how she rose to the top of the music world and above her anxiety. Schiller asks what the experience is like during the performance awaiting her moment.

That was Patty Niemi, a percussionist with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Her memoir is “Sticking It Out: From Juilliard to the Orchestra Pit, A Percussionist’s Memoir.” She was speaking with Inflection Point host Lauren Schiller, produced at KALW in San Francisco.

Hear Lauren’s other conversations at, and on her Inflection Point podcast.

After someone has been raped or sexually assaulted she has about a 72-hour window to get to a hospital and complete a rape kit. Nurses who have been specially trained to collect DNA evidence can make or break a prosecution. But outside of big cities, it can be hard to find nurses with this special training. For Side Effects Public Media, Esther Honig reports from Ohio.

This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a reporting collaborative focused on public health.

And that’s our show this week. Thanks to Patrick Garrett for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public RadioIf you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio

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