Have you ever wondered, as you sit out in the audience waiting for the performers to appear, what they are doing and how they are feeling? While you sit in your box, mentally preparing for the coming artistic and emotional experience, swilling down that last drop of champagne as you consider the programme notes, you imagine the musicians warming up - a few scales perhaps - just finishing their pre-performance meditation to calm the nerves, in time for that last-minute pep talk from the conductor. Perhaps even a group hug - who knows?
Not a chance that we are, at the 11th hour, still in the bar eating and drinking, photocopying page turns, frantically fixing a buzz that the instrument has developed at the very last minute, on the phone to the babysitter describing where the Mains is, and laddering one's only pair of tights at the same time. Don't be ridiculous. How would we be able to play so wonderfully if that were the case?
As we come down what is charmingly known, at the Albert Hall, as the Bull Run (by which they mean the corridors onto the stage, in front of the Arena), we are ready, not a hair out of place, to give our all to the live performance.