We have all experienced stage fright. Wikipedia describes it as having “numerous manifestations: fluttering or pounding heart, tremor in the hands and legs, diarrhea, facial nerve tics, dry mouth.” It feels awful, and it might ruin your fun or, at it’s worst, you might run away from a good opportunity or perform badly.
Here’s the truth:
We Don’t Have to be Afraid
You can avoid stage fright. By applying techniques, you can avoid what becomes an energy-and-joy-sucking trap for many performers.
Stage fright can be confronted at several stages:
- Right now.
- Before rehearsals begin.
- During the rehearsals.
- The day of the performance.
- Immediately before the performance.
- During the performance.
Beginning Singer is going to go through each period over the next week and talk about each in detail. Let’s get started!
Right Now: Whittle away Stage-Fright
Major events happen, and we are either ready for them or we aren’t. Therefore, we mustn’t wait for a performance to begin to start dealing with our stage-fright. Like the Jekyll and Hyde song says, “This is the moment.” Here are 5 actions you can do today that will help you overcome stage fright in the future.
1. Analyze your stage fright
Your stage fright comes from a combination of poisonous assumptions:
- “A judgmental audience is watching me.”
- “I must succeed.”
- “I might fail.”
- “Nobody will love me ever again if I fail.”
2. Decide whether those assumptions are rational.
They aren’t. Changing these assumptions is your primary task in dealing with stage fright. Rationally, remember that:
- Audiences want you to succeed.
- Your value as a human being is not determined by your performance.
- Your preparation determines this. Nothing else.
- No one will kill you or do this (see video) if you do badly.
3. Learn how to concentrate
Learn some form of meditation. The simplest is to pay attention to your breathing. You should be doing this anyway as a singer, but now you should make an art of it. Learn the difference between a scared breath and a peaceful breath. They are different.
By learning how to concentrate on your breath, you can spot the moment when one of those assumptions appears and scares you. Cut it off before it causes a scared breath!
4. Practice More
Remember how assumption number three is determined by your preparation? Well, begin preparing your technique. How do you know if you aren’t practicing enough? If you experience a lot of stage fright, then you probably aren’t practicing enough.
Besides sheer physical fitness, your mind receives a boost by regular exercise. The recent article in Scientific American “Fit Body, Fit Mind?” points out that you can exercise in a variety of ways. You can:
- Exercise your body. Especially work on aerobic fitness for mental results.
- Exercise your mind. Use challenging activities that force you to reason.
- Exercise your relationships. Reinforce your social connections and maintain healthy relationships.
Work on these five actions today and every day, and you will be a long way towards defeating your stage fright.