Stage fright: the blinding or paralyzing fear that occurs right before or during a performance. Many factors can contribute to stage fright, and some people are more affected by it than others.
What can you do to help work past your stage fright?
It is possible to work past your stage fright and really enjoy your performance! If you can identify what you are really afraid of, you can use that as a starting point. If not, that’s ok too!
For many people, especially my students, stage fright has to do a little with how prepared you consciously or unconsciously believe you are for the performance. Another factor could be that you have practiced too much in isolation, and you don’t know how you react performing around others.
There are many other factors, but let’s just focus on those two for now.
So! What can be done?
1. Practice more! If you don’t feel prepared enough, try to prepare more (if possible) by recording yourself giving mini “performances.” This way you can see how you perform and clearly see what needs work.
2. Practice in your performance clothes. For me, if I have a new pair of shoes or a new dress, I like to practice in it so I’m comfortable in the performance.
3. Practice performing in front of friends and family. If you haven’t performed in awhile or you just have been practicing in isolation, it’s a great idea to perform for others in practice. Close friends and family won’t be as harsh as a stranger, and you might feel more comfortable starting there.
4. Before the performance, use breathing techniques to calm yourself. There is a large variety of breathing techniques out there, so choose one you like the best. I prefer the 4-7-8 technique.
5. Mistakes happen! Many times an audience won’t notice, and even if they do, your recovery is more important. If you look and act like it was meant to happen they probably won’t notice.
The best way to beat stage fright is to be more prepared! Whether being prepared is practicing more, practicing in front of others, or just identifying what causes your stage fright, you can work on overcoming it and enjoy performing more.