According to the Book of Lists, Death is in the 6th place of top human fears. Guess what’s in the first place? Speaking before a Group. So as Jay Leno quipped, “We’d rather be in the coffin than delivering the eulogy.” Almost everyone has stage fright because our brain is hardwired to be afraid of going in front of the crowd. There is no need to worry if you are experiencing Stage Fear, if you aren’t experiencing stage fright then something is wrong. Acknowledging it is the best thing you’ve done. Here are some tips to help you overcome this.
Some people do not have stage fright from the very beginning, they develop stage fright because they are not prepared. Take some time to memorise your lines, know the cues, and internalise your character. Don’t throw yourself too much into memorising the entire material, because you can end up confused and even more anxious. Exercise discipline and dedication whenever you prepare yourself to go on a stage.
Take Deep Breaths
Breathing exercises are a great way to help calm your nerves. Breathe long, deep breaths right before you respond to your cue in the performance. Breathing exercises can also help you focus on your part, instead of the reaction of the audience. A trick is to inhale as deep as you can and as quickly as you can, and exhale very slowly.
Use a Mirror
Many stage performers keep a hand-held mirror handy to practice lines from plays or sing a few lines from songs. A hand-held mirror is not only a good way for you to practice gestures, but to gauge your confidence. If you’re confident about how you look delivering your lines in front of a mirror, you wouldn’t have any problems delivering your performance in front of an audience.
If you enjoy what you’re doing on stage, you’ll be at an ease and deliver your best. It really doesn’t matter if you’ve missed some of the lines because no one knows. So, be your best, enjoy every bit, have fun and deliver flawless performance.
Don’t expect that you’ll get rid of stage fright ever because that’s the one pumping your adrenaline before your performance. Remember this quote by Mark Twain: