Performance anxiety is a common problem, and even the most seasoned professionals such as Barbra Streisand and Sir Laurence Olivier have been debilitated by stage fright during their careers. Many performers are able to channel the adrenalin rush that accompanies anxiety into their performances, and some even attribute good performances to it. To minimize the effects of stage fright and maximize stage presence and performance, it is important for performers to become comfortable on stage.
Maximize your stage presence and confidence by performing content that you enjoy. Whether you are giving a speech, acting in a play or playing in a band, you will perform your best if you are invested in the content. Boredom and discontent are no recipe for success.
Rehearse as much as possible, so that you are familiar with the material you will be performing. There is no substitute for preparation.
Learn the logistics of the auditorium and stage you are going to perform on. Note where doors are located and where you can anticipate latecomers entering from. That way, you will be prepared for any movement and noise offstage, and it will not distract you so much. Remember that stage lighting will mean that you will be unable to see most of the audience clearly.
Study other performers and observe their physical and emotional responses and style. Try to emulate positive traits.
Take lessons that will help you hone your skills. Good performing arts teachers can teach you to acquire public solitude, which means that you will be able to focus on yourself and your performance and block out distracting external factors. You will also learn to breathe from your diaphragm, which is all-important to the professional performer.
Perform relaxation and breathing exercises to calm and focus you, prior to going onstage. Think positively and visualize the best possible outcome. Do not waste time and energy worrying and thinking negatively.
- The Stage; Secrets of Performing Confidence; Andrew Evans; 2003
- "Stagefright: Letting It Work for You"; Robert Triplett; 1983
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