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Overcoming Nervousness

Why is the stage so frightening to a number of people? Many people are immobilized by stage fright. But did you know that it is something you can control? It can even work for you.

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Stage fright is a normal feeling of nervousness or dread prior to a performance in front of an audience.  It is really up to you to look at stage from a different perspective. Remember, it is not unusual to be scared.  At least 90 percent of performers feel the same way.  What gives you the edge is preparation. In fact, the fear of messing up will motivate you to work on and practice your performance until it becomes second nature and almost effortless.

Here are tips to avoid stage panic attack:

Practice. This is the single best way to gain confidence in order to control stage fright.  Start working early.  It is necessary to have a head start by practicing weeks ahead of the performance.  Know your lines, speech, music, actions, gestures, steps, etc…and when you’re tired of practicing, practice slowly.

Use positive self-talk.  Stop thinking “I’m going to fail; I’m not going to make it.”  Motivate yourself with positive thoughts often and everywhere, during class, while eating, when you awake, before going to sleep.  Whenever you feel like saying or thinking “I can’t” replace it with “I can and I will.”

Use your imagination.  Picture yourself giving a flawless performance.  Watch the audience nod in approval, smile, and applaud.  Listen to the fantastic compliments.  Instead of imagining yourself making a mistake, practice well and soon you’ll witness that positive scene in your mind take place in reality. 

Perform to a smaller audience.  Rehearse in front of a mirror.  If you’re going to sing or do a speech, you need to hear yourself saying or singing the words properly.  Same is applicable if you’re playing an instrument.  Later, ask your family and friends watch you perform.

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