Fear of Public Performance
Do you get the shakes and quakes, the upset stomach, the spinning mental state where your thoughts run wild with visions of you crashing and burning during an audition or performance?
If so, you are not alone. Surveys show that the fear of public performance is the worldwide number one fear people have.
1. Physicality Overcomes Mental And Emotional Nervousness: When you exercise the day of an audition or performance, you allow your lungs to expand, blood to flow, and muscles to relax. Deep breathing disrupts scared, high, shallow breathing, which is part and parcel of the stress response of stage fright. Intense exercise also helps to re-establish your norepinephrine levels and remove stress hormones that are within you. Take a brisk walk moments before going on stage and burn up your nervous energy.
2. Realize That Stage Fright Does Not "Happen To You": Stage fright is not "some thing out there" just waiting to pounce on you. All the nerves, muscle tension, strange emotions and weird thoughts running through your head come from you projecting a disaster scene that you think is about to take place. Focus on what you can control, and let the rest go.
3. Get Out Of Yourself And Give Yourself To The Audience: Stage fright is about you focusing on yourself, and your nerves, when you should be focusing on your music, your craft and your lines. You can choose to be "self-conscious" or "performance-conscious". Focusing on what you are doing will allow you to perform, and set you free. Stage fright is largely you thinking about being approved or judged by the audience. This is a guaranteed way to feel nervous. Instead, focus on what will help you perform.
4. Focus On Past Successes To Create Present Excellence: Experienced performers have a "success bank account" filled with their past terrific, wonderful performances and zone moments. They call up, and re-imagine these energizing images when they need a boost of confidence before a performance.
5. Breathe Into The Fear: Just as massage therapists tell you to breathe into the massage to alleviate the pain in your muscles as they are manipulated, you want to manage your breath so you can stay relaxed, stay focused, and maintain proper intensity. Proper breath control is essential to self-regulation in your performances.
If you are learning how to become a comedian, the chances are great that one of the obstacles you are going to need to overcome is stage fright.
The last thing I want to do in this article is regurgitate some of the old and tired tips for beating the beast called stage fright. Taking deep breaths and having tranquil thoughts never seemed to carry much weight when I was gripped with shear unadulterated fear on stage.
I got rid of my stage fright completely using a repetitive affirmation process 30 minutes a day for 30 days.
But let's talk about some things you can do now to help control stage fright, because until you do, you will never become a comedian who can truly master the stage.
Step 1: Own The Stage
Many people feel like guests in another person's home when they show up for a gig. An outsider, trying to connect with the "local natives" as the "stranger from afar".
This is a position of weakness and should be abandoned immediately.
Here's how I approach it - as soon as I am introduced, the stage is mine. The building is mine. The entire property is MINE until I relinquish the microphone. The seats that the audience is sitting in are mine. That means that when I step onto the staget he people in the audience are guests in MY house, are in MY space and are on MY time. I'm not the guest - they are. I am at home, in my element and it's my turn to talk when I hit the stage.
That's the way it's going to be the whole time I am on stage. They get it all back when I'm done.
Step 2: Take Your Time
If you really want to become a comedian who commands the big laughs, don't be in a hurry to get to the punchline. Take your time. Speak at your natural speech rate. The more the audience sees that you are at your leisure, the more comfortable they will be and the more confident you will appear.
Step 3: Be Prepared Before You Ever Step On Stage
You simply cannot rehearse your stand-up comedy material enough before you deliver it to an audience. The more you practice (out loud, using your own natural body language), the better able you are to present yourself in the best possible way.
Rehearsal can only boost your confidence. And confidence is a critical factor in overcoming stage fright.
Overcoming stage fright takes work - work that you must be prepared to do, just like rehearsing your act. It takes having an attitude of confidence and ownership. But the payoff is huge if you want to become a comedian who commands huge laughter from the stand-up comedy stage.
©2012 Hypnotic World Ltd.