Acting, and all kinds of performing, fall under the rulership of Leo. Even seasoned professionals can be overcome with a bought of stage fright. (We might think of stage fright as a visit from that old devil, Saturn, who rules fear. And we all know that Saturn wants us to practice, practice, practice, until we become proficient at whatever lessons he has for us.)
Whether you’re performing on-stage, giving a speech, or called upon to make a presentation at work, these steps to overcoming stage fright can be quite beneficial. This article, which I contributed to, is from WikiHow. I can’t stress enough the tip to work in front of a mirror while you are preparing for your performance. You’ll see exactly what your expressions, body posture, and hand movements are signalling to your audience.
How to Overcome Stage Fright
When you have always wanted to perform on stage, especially in school plays, it seems you usually get stage fright. Once you get onto the stage, it seems your brain stops working. You stutter, forget your lines, or sometimes, just start laughing. There is a way to overcome these reactions.
- Practice your part. Do this until you know it by heart. Remember the words of the person who speaks before you, so you recognize the cue for you to speak. Practice in front of family, friends, AND STUFFED ANIMALS (surprise?)and even in front of empty chairs. so that you are used to performing in front of people.
- Gain confidence in yourself by reciting your lines in front of a mirror. Watch your mannerisms, look at how you move your hands as you speak. Try different ways of saying the same words or sentences. Wear the same outfit while watching yourself.
- Keep your voice warm by humming softly whenever you can.
- Concentrate on what you are about to do. Forget about the audience. Make believe that you are in front of the mirror or your family. Go over your act prior to leaving the house. Be confident in the knowledge that what you are about to perform on stage has been learned well, whether you are going to dance, sing, or perform in a play with others. Take a deep breath and go!
- While you are singing, in the parts where you have to sing a solo, you think how great you are. Have confidence.
This video shows instructions that go beyond the text steps above.
- If you forget a word, do not stop, just continue. Try to use other words that were not in the script. If your scene partner makes a mistake, do not react to it. Simply ignore the mistake, or, if it was too large to let pass, improvise around the error. Ability to improvise is the mark of a true actor.
- If you mess up a step when dancing, no one will ever know, unless you stop. Continue and they will think it is part of the dance.
- Some of our greatest performers get stage fright. Do not think you are alone. Just get on with it, and soon you will be so engrossed that you will forget you are on stage.
- You’ll feel nervous when you first start out, but it will get easier as you get used to performing in front of crowds. An added plus is you’ll feel better after you’ve done your performance. All of your work and nerves will pay off.
- Think you’re a famous singer and you have to sing/talk in front of everybody all the time.
- Remember, the audience will not eat you! So relax and have fun.
- Tell yourself, “If I am afraid of looking stupid, I will never have fun.”
- Usually, when you are performing, there are big spotlights, so the light blinds you and you can’t notice the audience much. Try focusing on the lights(without blinding yourself) if you are too scared. But don’t stare out into space and stare at them the whole time. Plus, if it’s at a venue, they will usually dim the crowd lights so there is a massive blank spot where the crowd is.
- If your first performance goes smoothly, you will probably have much less (if any) stage fright for following performances.
- Turn the tables in your own mind: tell yourself that the people watching you should be nervous in your presence, not the other way around — this “ego trip” really works!
- Sometimes it’s ok to be a little nervous. If you are so paranoid you are going to make a mistake, then you will be more careful. It’s the overly confident people that make the most mistakes.
- Remember: EVERYONE makes mistakes. Anyone who will laugh for a mistake you made is just self-conscious. If you do make a mistake out of nervousness, who cares? Forget about it. You shouldn’t be nervous from then on, anyway, because it can’t get too much worse! Almost like reverse psychology.
- It really doesn’t matter if you make a mistake, your IQ drops about 50 points when you do stuff in front of many people. Just relax…you’ll be fine.
- Pretend you’re the one to talk and that you are there to give a performance they’ll never forget and act like they don’t matter for a second and that while you’re onstage, they have to worry about you. Not them. It also helps to think “I’m the one in charge of the performance in this show here. Not the audience who is just watching.” Continue on with your lines, the play, or the show without feeling so nervous! It works too!
- Make sure you go to the bathroom before getting up on stage!
- Don’t eat too much before going on stage or you might feel really nauseated. It will also zap your energy. Save the meal for after the performance.
- Unless you are costumed as a character, make sure to wear an outfit that you feel comfortable and relaxed in. You don’t want to be self-conscious of your appearance when you are on stage. Also, be sure to wear something that isn’t too revealing, and is suitable for your performance. You don’t want to be caught up in a wardrobe malfunction while performing! Wear something that you feel you look good in and that you’re proud to wear. It will make you more confident about your appearance.
- Be as prepared as you possibly can. Practice is the key, and the more you practice the more confident you will feel. Not to mention the quality of your routine, speech, or performance will also improve.
- How to Have a Good Stage Presence
- How to Prepare for a Stage Performance
- How to Create Your Acting Resume
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Overcome Stage Fright. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.
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