Hypothetical: You’ve just been hired for a job. You know exactly what you’ll be doing; you have a month to figure it out; and then the rehearsals begin. Though it seems distant, you can begin dealing with your future stage-fright now.
Dissolve Stage Fright Before Rehearsals Begin
- Decide if you are ready for the role. You might not be. If someone offered me Otello tomorrow, I would be flattered, but I would turn it down. If you are ready then…
- Figure out your technique. The rehearsal period does not have enough time for you to learn how to sing your part. Take lessons, practice like crazy, get coachings, and do what it takes.
- Learn your music ACCURATELY. Take the time to get it right now. This will make stage fright less likely, and you’ll have a better rehearsal period. See my earlier post Learning Music for a method for accurate music learning.
- Begin making acting choices. You should have some ideas about your character before you arrive to rehearsals. You may not stick with your earliest choices, but it’s imperative to think about this now. What does your character want? What strategies will he/she employ to get that? etc.
- Listen to your emotions: During this time you should listen to your emotions. Personally, I get anxious whenever I am avoiding something important…like practicing. If you are feeling strange or nervous now, figure out why and deal with it.
- Continue dissolving your poisonous assumptions. Those were:
- “A judgmental audience is watching me.”- Counter with: They want me to succeed.
- “I must succeed.” Counter with: My worth is not determined by any performance.
- “I might fail.” Counter with: Only if I don’t prepare.
- “Nobody will love me ever again if I fail.” Counter with: Yes, they will.
And keep breathing. See you tomorrow.
[Thoughts on stage fright? Any suggestions? Please leave a comment below.]