Stagefright. Yep. Terrifying and visceral stagefright that grips these performers by the throat and doesn’t let go. When I was younger and performed a fair bit people would often say to me things like “If I could sing like you, I wouldn’t be nervous”. Wrong. I mean, very very wrong. Your ability has nothing to do with this. Stagefright has no favourites and it can occur at anytime, to anyone, with very little rhyme or reason. Ella Fitzgerald was notoriously shy. The world famous soprano, Renee Fleming, is rendered practically unable to open her mouth due to stage nerves. So if you suffer from this, at the very least, you’re in good company! There are no hard and fast rules for getting over this however there are a couple of things that may help alleviate it.
- Know your stuff. Honestly, just something as mundane as this can go a long way to helping you get out there with confidence.
- Keep in mind that the audience is on your side. They will give giving u the benefit of the doubt. They want to be entertained so they will assume your good.
- Your not alone. Stagefright has been around since the days that actors first started to perform Shakespeares’ plays!
- The more you get out there, the better it gets. Regular performing is the key.
More often than not tangible tasks performed regularly can if not solve than at least help with in minimising the very real and often overwhelming effects of the beast that stalks most if not all performers at some point. Just keep in mind that the very act of performing in front of an audience is quite frightening and in all honesty there is no reason to NOT be a bit daunted by this so ease up on yourself and know that the audience are with you and they want you to enjoy yourself up there as much as they want to be entertained. So get your material down and get out there and share your gift.