Stage fright happens to the best of us even Adele claims that she is “scared of audiences”
Having gone from performing in front of 300,000 people to developing panic attacks about the thought of going on stage to 2 years of therapy and training to get me back on stage here are some of the ways that have helped me to get back into performing.
- preparation is key. One of the leading causes of stage fright in my opinion is being under prepared. Be sure to start your prep well in advance, and know your lyrics like the back of your hand. When they reach deep into your sub concious (you can wash the dishes and sing your song) then you know you are going to be fine on performance day.
2. manage your cafine consumtion. Caffine will raise corsisol levels (stress levels) so it isn’t a good idea to go hard on the coffee or energy drinks before you go on stage. I usually have 3 cups a day, so on performance day I swap to 2 normal and one decaf. Helps to manage the heart rate.
3. Get in a good meal. One of the reasons you might start to shake and get jittery is a lack of food. So be sure to get in a good balanced meal in a few hours before you perform. That way you will manage your energy levels better. I start shaking quite badly when I am hungry, so eating a good meal before hand just helps to manage the jitters.
4. Remember that the stress response in the body is the same as excitement. So you might be excited about it rather than have stage fright. Tell yourself that you have prepared well and that you are super exicted about the performance.
5. Have your 5 truths ready to go. I recommend that you have 5 truths written down before you head to the venue. for example. I have practiced. I am prepared. I have worked hard for this. I am a good singer, I love singing and performing. Those people are more in awe of my ability to perform than I am nervous. They need to be truthful though, so I want you to dig deep and repeat them over and over again.
6. Manage your breathing. in for 4 through the nose and out for 8. This will help to slow your breathing rate and your heart rate. Thus lowering your bodies stress response.
7. Name what is going on in your body. If you are anything like me, I get numb feet and fingers. My body gets cold and I start to panic. So say outloud (or in your head if you are side of stage) what is going on in your body. Say it out loud and slowly, taking in what is going on and bringing yourself back to the moment. ooooo i am getting the feeling just sitting here talking to you, so breathe and label it. You can do it.
8. Throat lozengers. I love this one. it also slows your breathing rate as you are holding your breath to suck on the thing. Taking a throat lozenger will just give you that moment to just slow down and focus on the lozenger in your mouth more than the feeling in your body.
9. Do the work before hand. I know I said this before. But I want you to run through your performance in your head and see everything going well. You are going to visualse the performance going well and the crowd going nuts. Be positive about your performance and really focus on it going well.
10. Lastly, if you forget your lyrics before you go on stage. This one happens to me every time. do NOT try and get in the way of your thoughts. I want you to focus on just being there and hearing the music. Your subconcious will take over, just try not to get in the way of the thought. This has helped me hugely with performing, that is how my anxiety started, by a few gigs where I forgot the lyrics. Just remember that your subconcious is faster than your concious brain so it will get there well before you can even think the first lyric.
Woah we got there. This is a big list, but you are amazing, and you are going to get through this. I am here for you. If you want a community to join where we can talk about all things singing, then join my singing community all about getting better together and supporting one another.