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For some the stage can feel like a second home. A comfortable place where you can kick off your shoes (in some cases, literally) and delight in the crowd’s admiration. For others, it can be a little intimidating. If you fall into the latter category – not to worry - everyone feels stage fright at some point in their lives. The difference? Knowing how to manage it.
At City Vocal Coach, we’re no stranger to stage fright, and managing yours will be something you will need to work on. But with these easy techniques, there are stage lights at the end of that tunnel.
1. Calm both your mind and body
To truly calm yourself you need to focus your mind and body. There are many methods that can help you to do this. Breathing exercises are one excellent way to focus and calm you. There’s also yoga and meditation which can help with any anxious thoughts. Learning methods to calm yourself as part of your performance preparation, will mean you will be better prepared when the dreaded stage fright hits, and when it’s showtime, you’ll know what to do.
2. Prepare, prepare, prepare
As Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’. Always know your material, and know it through and through. You may very well still feel the pangs of stage fright but at least it won’t be due to you being underprepared. And once you’ve started you’ll soon notice your confidence grow as you get into your well-practised rhythm.
There’s a lot to be said in being positive, thoughts – especially negative thoughts – can be overwhelming but it is important to remember that they are just thoughts. You can work on countering these thoughts with positive responses to help your overall balance of mind. Accept your stage fright and all the negative thoughts which stem from it, but, equally remember you could do really well, and perform the night of your life. Granted, it can be a whole lot easier to focus on the more negative side of the situation. But just trying to be more positive can go a long way in helping with your stage fright. Thoughts like, ‘Yes, I can do this’, ‘I’m going to show them what I am made of’, ‘If I forget something, fine, I’ll just rock on’ – are all helpful seeds in helping your growth as a performer.
4. Force yourself out
When you feel stage fright, and especially if stage fright has affected your performance to the level you’re not happy with, it can be pretty scary to persuade yourself to get back out there. But force yourself you must. It really is as simple as that, the more you perform the better you will become at performing in front of others. Practice really does make perfect. The trick, though, is getting yourself back out there. One way of helping with this is to get friends, family and people you trust to come along and support you. So, you know, amongst the sea of unknown faces, there are a few friendly ones out there too.
5. Find a vocal coach
Forgive us while we toot our own horn here, but vocal coaches can really help you if you’re struggling with stage fright. We can teach you how to sing while coping with stress, how to act and appear more confident than perhaps you feel. We can also show you how to make sure that nerves do not affect that wonderful voice of yours. Because if you let it, it will.
Stage fright is a common but scary thing to process, we get it, we’ve been there. While these methods may be easy ways of tackling it, it will require persistence. Keep your mind and body in check, practise performing as regularly as you can, prepare, stay positive and find yourself a vocal coach to help you along the way. And, remember those stage lights at the end of the tunnel!
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash
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