How do you handle stage fright?

Discussion in 'The Coffee House' started by ?I?, Jul 23, 2012.

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  1. ?I?

    ?I? Well-Known Member

    I'm going to play some music (memorized) for the audience in a big hall in less than two weeks time.
    I have tried to play it in front of friends for a few times. My body and hand will just shake whenever I thought about it. My legs can't stop trembling as well, and sometime, cramping.

    I don't know how to deal with it. The memorizing part also make the situation worst. Can't stop myself from thinking about how scary it is.
    Anyone have experience dealing with this??? Do you overcome it or you achieved a balance between both?
  2. TheLoneWolf

    TheLoneWolf Well-Known Member

    How do I handle stage fright? I avoid it by avoiding being on stage, lol. Okay, but I have been forced into certain situations like that before... even just the thought of it used to give me panic attacks and make me nauseous. I probably handle it better now than I used to. Some people say to imagine everyone in their underwear, but I think that would just weird me out. Personally, I just imagine that the audience doesn't even exist. If I have to stand up in front of people and give some kind of speech or presentation, I imagine that I am the only one in the room and I am performing to myself. Of course sometimes you have to make eye contact with the audience; in that case, I just imagine that the audience is made up of animated mannequins instead of actual people. I know they will react, stare, point, laugh, clap, or whatever, but at that point I am thinking of them all as robots who were programmed to act that way, instead of worrying about whether or not I'm making a fool of myself. I know that probably sounds crazy, but it works for me.

    As for the memorization part... just do it over and over and over again until you're able to do it in your sleep. If you do forget a line, just improvise... skip it, make something up, whatever you have to do. In that moment, instead of thinking "holy crap, everyone is going to laugh at me for forgetting my line!", just remind yourself that everybody makes those kinds of mistakes, even professionals. Though people barely notice when a professional makes a mistake, you know why? Because they just keep on going like nothing happened, and make up for it by doing the rest of the show as best they can.
  3. red ribbons

    red ribbons Well-Known Member

    .25 mg. Xanax
  4. Lps

    Lps Well-Known Member

    Hypnosis works great. You have to WANT it to work. you can easily download a hypnosis mp3, use it when you're relaxed (cuz if you're tense at that moment it won't work). Start NOW, because it'll take a while for the suggestions to really become a part of you. It'll just tell you things like, "I feel relaxed on stage and ready to shine" :)
  5. Butterfly

    Butterfly Resident SF Sims Enthusiast Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    I used to play in concerts and play solos on my violin a lot when I was in my teens. Often, I would shake uncontrollably, but I used to lose myself in the music that I would forget how nervous I was.
  6. Androgyny

    Androgyny Well-Known Member

    Focus on the music and try to ignore the fact that there is an audience. You will be able to perofrm to the best of yr abilities and the audience will show their appreciation, so next time it won't be as bad.

    I'm a musician who has now played somewhere in the region of 70 shows. Going onstage now no longer fazes me, but that wasn't always the case. At soundcheck of the first show I ever played, I fainted out of terror! Well, that and the fact that I only got about an hour's sleep the night before! lol

    On other thing to remember is that in the off chance that things go wrong... It doesn't really matter in the scheme of things. One slip does not = the end of yr career! Heck, sometimes recovering from little slips can spur you into something truly magical! I once played a show that was a COMPLETE DISASTER. Every conceiveable thing went wrong and being onstage was hell... but... when it was over... Nothing horrible happened. Saw many people who were at that show at the next one we played at the same place, and that time... Everything went completely right! :D

    EDIT: Last little thing. I'm an introvert by nature, so doing this for the first time was going against ALL of my natural impulses... but you know what? The show went down pretty well!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2012
  7. ?I?

    ?I? Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the advises!!!
    Learning to like my music, it does work :)
    However, a great sum of focus is required. I can't stop myself from looking everywhere during the rehearsal, down the stage, following the footsteps, or anything moving etc.. I just have to grab my attention back to my music by constantly reminding myself or else I'm gonna be pulled away by all these and my mind will float away.

    Trying to ignore the mistakes, let the music to continue.

    btw, I can't imagine all my audience as not existing. I tried by imagining them as watermelon before, but they will be back in human shape in split

    I'm introvert and shy person too. I can't avoid this as I need to learn how to deal with the whole society out there. Choose to face these problems that haunts me since I'm small ain't easy, but yea, I still need to face it :biggrin:
  8. Mr Stewart

    Mr Stewart Well-Known Member

    You could try the Mitch Hedberg technique and wear dark glasses so you can't see the crowd. Apparently he wore them to combat his stage fright his entire career.

    Kudos to you for doing this. Being on stage in front of people would be nightmare level scenario for me.
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