Dear Drew, I’m stressing out! My recital is coming up – this Saturday at 1, by the way – and while I feel pretty ready, I’m a little worried that nobody’s going to show up. How can I assure that people will come? Failing that, any advice for how to relax? -Freaked-out Fifth-year Like you, Freaked-out, I also have a recital this Saturday at 1, and like you, I’m worried that nobody’s going to be there. I think the only thing you can really do to ensure that people come is to advertise like crazy. First things first: Cover all of the basics. I know, I know, recital posters are stupid and annoying, but there’s a reason everyone puts them up around the con, and it isn’t just because they’re reading incomprehensible inside jokes. Find some embarrassing pictures or Photoshop your head onto something embarrassing, and be sure to remind everyone when it is – Saturday at 1, if I’m not mistaken. You should probably also make a Facebook event. These are also stupid and annoying – so much so that I don’t even have a Facebook account – but they’re still incredibly effective in guilting your friends who can’t be there, if nothing else. If you were raised by wolves or something and aren’t on Facebook, ask a friend you trust to make an event for you – it’ll tell all of the people who otherwise couldn’t be bothered to know what’s going on in your life that you’re having a recital this Saturday at 1. Once you have those things covered, you can be pretty confident that at least a few people are going to show up, but if you’re like me – which I suspect you might be – you’ll probably want to cover a few more bases before calling it a day. This is where you get to think outside the box. Do you have any arts and crafts skills? Those could be put towards a unique advertisement. Do you own a cardboard cutout of yourself? That could be an advertisement. Do you have a column in The Lawrentian? You could use that to advertise that your recital is this Saturday at 1. Of course, that only covers how you’ll get the word out, not necessarily how you’ll convince people to come. Telling people that it’s going to be fun or that they won’t want to miss it is a little old. Instead, you could try to make the point that, as a composition recital, yours is going to feature a level of diversity that most recitals don’t, or that they’ll be hearing the world premiere of at least two pieces. You could also point out that they’re unlikely to be busy at that time since, as I’ve pointed out, the recital is at 1 p.m. this Saturday. However, those kinds of arguments are only going to convince people who were already considering going, so what do you do to force everyone else to come? Personally, I think you should somehow let all of your friends know that you’d be incredibly upset if they didn’t come – so upset that you’d never speak to them again, or that you’d spread horrible rumors about them in your silly sham of an advice column you foolishly believe people still read. However you do it, make it clear that people’s lives will be less pleasant if you don’t see them at your recital this Saturday at 1. That’s really about all I can come up with for making sure people show up, but I think I can offer you some advice about relaxing, as well. In fact, this advice is so good that it will work for all kinds of stress, not just the kinds related to having an upcoming recital. It’s pretty simple: live music. When it comes to forgetting your troubles, few things are as good as going to a concert. The best part is, I happen to know of a pretty good one going on this Saturday at 1 in Harper. I’ll see you there!