Dealing with Performance Anxiety

 Hello Fringe Friends!

Thought I would make a blog post for those who get some performance anxiety. Having performed since I was a little 3yo, I have learnt that performance anxiety never really goes away. However, there are plenty of skills that I have learnt to get me back to that manageable level of nerves so that it doesn't affect my performance.

  • -Reduce the importance of the event

If things go wrong tonight or you make a mistake, will you and your co-performers still wake up tomorrow and get on with life? YES!

If you get a bad review in the paper, will your loved ones still love you and will you love them in return? YES!

Reducing the importance of the event is a great way to get those nerves down to a manageable level in the grand scheme of things. This is just one night in your otherwise long and fulfilling life.

  • -Connect to the 5 senses

This is a great strategy to increase the enjoyment of the performance.

  • -What can you see – the stage lights, the colourful costumes
  • -What can you feel – the cool stage floor under your feet, the heavy feeling in your guts
  • -What can you smell – the musty stage curtains, the sweat on your costume
  • -What can you taste – your toothpaste, your lipstick
  • -What can you hear – the murmurings of the crowd, your breathing

Thinking about each moment can keep you grounded.While you're on stage, it can keep focused on your next lines or you next body movement. And it makes the whole experience much more meaningful and memorable.

  • -Reframing those thoughts

Think about the following questions:

  • -What is the best thing that could happen tonight?
  • -What is the worst thing that could happen tonight?
  • -What is most likely to happen tonight?
  • -If the worst thing actually happens tonight, will I and my loved ones still be okay?

In addition, think about all those audience members… are they being brave enough to get up there and do what you're doing!? Nope! YOU'RE the one up on that stage so you can feel proud and awesome that you have the courage to perform your skills and talents!

Some final thoughts….

Think about those amazing feels your bringing to your audience. They are laughing and crying because of your performance. That's a powerful way to have an effect on people. Thank you for all that you do. 

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