When was the last time you performed on a stage or had an audition? Do you remember that sick feeling in your stomach that almost made you run away to God knows where and never face people again? The cold beads of sweat rolling down your forehead, butterflies in your stomach, sweaty hands, trembling legs, and your pounding heart made the experience seem like nothing more than torture, right? So, have you ever wondered why such panic attacks occur in the first place?
Stage fright is what they call it! You may have noticed that performing in front of your friends or rehearsing in front of your parents doesn’t make you even a little bit anxious, but when you perform on stage you turn into a bundle of nerves and don’t have the slightest idea how you’ll last for 10-20 minutes in front of an audience who would make fun of you if you make any mistakes.
Well, this is normal. Most of us have this fear when asked to perform in front of a large audience. You may be surprised to learn that eminent musicians such as Pablo Casals, Arthur Rubinstein, and Luciano Pavarotti have experienced the same all throughout their careers, and yet they have made it BIG! Studies show that close to 96% of orchestra musicians experience stage fright before their performances. The fear to fail and be humiliated causes anxiety and you end up shaking.
Fact: It’s nothing but an adrenaline rush that, if controlled, can help you deliver the best performance of your life.
So how do you deal with it? There are a number of exercises you can perform. Try taking deep breaths as in yoga and let your nerves be at rest, or you can carry out some light exercise in the morning. It keeps you fit and confidence involuntarily creeps in. Avoid caffeine and drink fruit juices instead. Sleep soundly the night before the show. You can watch some hilarious comedies before performing. The best way to control stage fright is to convince yourself that you can do it. If necessary, practice before the mirror. This works wonders, too.
Stage fright is not a disease, nor is it a mental condition. It’s only an adrenaline rush that makes you anxious and, if handled properly, can deliver results you haven’t even dreamt of.