How to Combat Stage Fright

It’s possible that you might be feeling fear or nervousness ahead of your performance. Those feelings are normal. Here are some tips to help you combat stage fright:

  1. You have been chosen to perform because you are unique! No one else can offer what you can offer.
  2. Believe that your story or message or performance is more important than your nerves.
  3. Conjure up your passion and excitement to give your performance and get on with it.
  4. Think of the audience as a group of people who wish you well and want you to give a great performance.
  5. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to do this?” I’m sure the answer will be a resounding, “YES” so get out there and enjoy the moment.
  6. Don’t forget to breathe! Close your eyes and do a scan of your body starting with the top of your head. Release and relax any muscles that you might be gripping or tightening. *Note that the parasympathetic nervous system is connected to the posterior segment of the brain and runs down the spinal cord through the neck, the chest, the diaphragm and the abs. Therefore when you allow the breath to drop down into the body, the parasympathetic system is activated and produces a calming effect.
  7. There’s a song from the 80’s called “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” Great advisement.
  8. You’ve practiced and practiced… now trust that your body and mind have processed all of your hard work and will respond in kind.

Reference, Patsy Rodenburg, The Actor Speaks