Stage Fright

Overcoming Stage Fright in Theatre

“I can’t do it,

W-w-what if they don’t like me,

What if I mess up? “

Hollywood lore is filled with tales of performers who have battled with Stage Fright since ancient times, from Rod Stewart to Mel Gibson. One of the most famous and best-documented examples is Carol Burnett, who is alleged to have thrown up every night before each show.

How do you know if you have stage fright? If you have stage fright, then you may start to feel nervous, shaky, or even completely debilitated at the thought of performing in front of an audience. Stage fright is a very bona fide emotion that overcomes any and all individuals at least once in their life when they have to go and speak on the big stage. It shouldn’t be taken lightly but don’t fret too much for it has a cure or well precautionary measures we can adopt to survive this ordeal.

Fear is what holds you from doing your best. It binds you and chains your limbs.

Overcoming Stage Fright

Relax your body. Facilitating the strain from your body can help relentless your voice and unwind your psyche. Practice your lines. If you mess up on stage, don’t panic! Make it seem like the act (*cough*improvisation*cough*).

Here are a few things you can do to relax your body before your performance:

Be punctual. Show up to your performance earlier than anyone in the audience. You’ll feel significantly more in charge if the room is topping off after you touch base as opposed to appearing to a full house. Appearing early will likewise facilitate your nerves and will influence you to feel not so much hurried but rather more settled.

Meditate. Find a relatively quiet place where you can take a comfortable seat on the ground. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. (Don’t fall asleep while meditating. No one wants to see your sleepy face on stage)

Exercise.  Exercise releases tension and gets your endorphins going. Stretching your arms, legs, back, and shoulders is another great way to reduce the tension in your body. (Be careful to not tear your costume while you are stretching. You do not want to go on stage… naked and afraid)

Dodge unnecessary eating before your execution. You may surmise that it will influence you to perform with more vitality, however, it will really influence you to feel more sick and lazy.
However, Eat a light nibble, for example, a natural product before you perform. It will bring down that vacant or sick inclination in your stomach yet won’t influence you to feel too full either.
Or then again even bite gum. Bite gum a tad to facilitate the pressure in your jaw. Simply don’t bite so much that your mouth gets dry and you have to too much drink water which will bring about you expected to urinate all the more frequently.

Gently hum to steady your voice (Please keep in mind this is 10-20 minutes before your performance so screaming your lungs out is not a viable option)

“Me” time before a performance really helps in getting your cool back.

(These 2 are my personal favourites because I do these myself before each performance)

Imagine your favourite person in the audience. Rather than envisioning each individual in the audience in their underwear — which can be a little weird — imagine the person that loves you and will listen to and approve of anything you say or do. That individual will giggle at the correct circumstances, empower you, and applaud uncontrollably toward the finish of your performance. Just imagine him/her as your only audience and you will rock the stage.

Recite the words to your favourite song or poem. Falling into a comfortable rhythm will influence you to feel more settled and in control subsequently, you will deliver your lines with ease and grace.

Lose your fear and it will feel like someone removed the shackles that held you so distraught.

There are no hard and fast rules to overcome stage fright in Theatre. We all find our own ways to either hide it or handle it through trial and error over time but one thing for sure that it isn’t something that should be suppressed for that will only lead to even more stage fright. If you try to control your emotions your emotions shall control you. Let go. Enjoy. Let the stress flow through your body like blood then let it slowly dissolve and face the world with confidence never seen before.

Adapted from:
Overcoming Stage Fright

If you have stage fright, it never goes away. But then I wonder: is the key to that magical performance because of the fear? ~  Stevie Nicks

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