You know the drill, you’re standing backstage and your hands are so sweaty you feel you’ll drop the microphone, your stomach feels empty and sick, and your mind is continuously telling you what could go wrong. This is stage fright, a horrifying mental phenomenon that can get the best of people. Luckily it is just that, a mental issue, which can be dealt with using various techniques.
The most important thing to do before any performance is practice. The better you know your material, the less likely you are to forget it on stage. Practicing in front of a mirror or filming yourself will allow you to see how you are moving and presenting yourself physically. Keep filming your practice sessions until you feel like you watched a solid performance. Remember: don’t be too hard on yourself. As artists, it is way too easy to get lost in focusing on what’s wrong, be sure to highlight the good in each practice session as well and get a second opinion from someone you trust!
Exercise is probably the last thing on your mind when preparing for a performance, but it is one of the most important! The day of your show (or any day seeing as exercise benefits all aspects of our lives), be sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise. The movement will release pent up energy and help you relax before your performance.
The last thing you probably want to do before a performance is to be alone with your thoughts; however, the only way to overcome them is to acknowledge them. If you can, about an hour before you’re set to go on stage, find a quiet place and focus on breathing and relaxing each muscle in your body. If you don’t have the time or there simply isn’t a quiet place around, just focus on your breathing! Take slow, deep breaths to calm the butterflies in your stomach.
The only way to relieve the pressure that comes with being a performer is knowing that it is okay to make mistakes. Everyone does, even big stars like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez forget their words sometimes. It is a part of being human and in all honesty, people rarely notice. The people in the crowd have come to see you, not a robot incapable of making mistakes. It is what makes you relatable. Additionally, in making mistakes we can learn how to play them off like nothing happened. The key is not to make a big deal of it. It happens, and no one is going to think any less of you for it. They are amazed you are up on that stage in the first place!
With all these tips in mind, go rock the stage!