Even the most confident actor can suffer from stage fright. Stage fright is common to everyone from Broadway actors to television presenters. When stage fright strikes, you start to feel nervous, shaky, or completely weakened just at the thought of performing in front of an audience. But don't worry, you can overcome your fear of the stage by training your body and mind with a few tricks to relax. If you want to know how to overcome stage fright, follow these steps. Before reading, keep in mind that it helps a lot to have someone act with you. It also helps if you have several of your close friends in the audience.
Method 1 of 4: Overcoming stage fright on the day of the performance
Step 1. Relax your body
To overcome stage fright, there are a few things you can do to relax your body before going on stage. Relaxing body tension can help you stabilize your voice and calm your mind before your performance.
- Hum softly to regulate your voice.
- Eat a banana before you act. This will reduce that feeling of emptiness or nausea in your stomach, while not making you feel too full.
- Chew gum. Chew gum for a while to reduce the tension on your jaw. Do not chew the gum for a long time or on an empty stomach if you do not want to feel discomfort in your digestive system.
- Do stretches. Stretching your arms, legs, back, and shoulders is another way to reduce body tension.
- Imagine that you are acting like a different character. This can help you avoid public pressure.
Step 2. Meditate
In the morning before your performance, or even an hour before it, take 15-20 minutes to meditate. Find a relatively quiet place where you can sit comfortably on the floor. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing as you relax every part of your body.
- Rest your hands in your lap and fold your legs.
- Try to get to the point where you don't think about anything other than one part of your body at a time (especially don't think about your performance).
Step 3. Avoid caffeine
Unless you are addicted to caffeine, do not drink coffee or cola on the day of your performance. You may think that caffeine will make you act more energetic, but it will actually make you feel more nervous and restless.
Step 4. Set a "full stop" to your anxiety
On the day of your performance, repeat in your head that you may feel nervous for a certain period of time, but after a certain hour (say at 3 pm) all the anxiety will go out the door. If you set this goal and promise yourself, it will be much easier for it to happen.
Step 5. Get some exercise
Exercise releases tension and gets your endorphins moving. Set aside at least thirty minutes of that day to exercise or at least walk for half an hour. This will get your body ready for an impressive performance.
Step 6. Laugh as much as you can
Watch a comedy in the morning, put on your favorite YouTube video, or spend the afternoon with the funniest person in the cast. Laughter will relax you and take your mind off nervousness.
Step 7. Get there early
Report to the performance venue before any spectators arrive. You will feel more in control if the room is empty when you arrive than if it is already full of people. Showing up earlier will also relax your nerves and make you feel less rushed and at peace.
Step 8. Talk to some onlookers
Some actors like to sit in the audience and start chatting with viewers to make themselves more comfortable. This way you can see that the viewers are normal people like you, and it will help you balance your expectations. You can also just sit in the auditorium while it fills up a bit, without telling anyone who you are (this only works if you're not in costume, of course).
Step 9. Imagine your favorite person in the audience
Instead of the old trick of imagining everyone in their underwear (which is a bit weird) imagine that in every seat in the auditorium sat a clone of your favorite person. This person loves you, listens to you and gives you the go-ahead in everything you say or do. This person will laugh at the right times, cheer you on, and applaud you at the end of the performance.
Step 10. Drink citrus juice
Drinking a citrus juice half an hour before your performance can lower your blood pressure and calm your anxiety.
Step 11. Recite the words of your favorite song or poem
Focusing on a pleasant rhythm will make you feel at peace and in control. If you feel comfortable reciting the lines of your favorite song or poem, you will feel comfortable playing your role with grace and ease.
Method 2 of 4: Overcome stage fright for a speech or presentation
Step 1. Make it interesting
It may sound obvious, but probably one of the reasons for your stage fright is that you worry that everyone will think you are boring. Well, you might be worried about being boring because your material is boring. Even if you're presenting a very bland topic, think of ways to make it more accessible and engaging. You will be less concerned about your presentation if you know that the content is attractive.
If appropriate, leave room for laughter. Include some jokes that lower your tension and relax the audience
Step 2. Consider your audience
As you create and practice your presentation, keep the audience's needs, knowledge, and expectations in mind. If you are addressing a young audience, adjust your content, your voice, and your speech, if necessary. If it is an older and more severe audience, be more practical and logical. You will be less nervous if you know that you will be able to reach the people who are listening to you.
Step 3. Don't tell people that you are nervous
Don't get on the lectern and make a joke about being nervous. Everyone will assume you are confident, since you are up there. Announcing that you are nervous may make you feel better, but the audience will lose faith in you instead of paying attention to you.
Step 4. Record yourself
Record yourself on video doing your presentation. Keep practicing and recording yourself until you can watch the recording and say, "Wow, this is a good performance!" If you are not happy with what you see in the video, then you will not be happy with the live performance. Keep doing it until it works out for you. When you are in front of the public, just remember how great you looked on the recording, and repeat in your head that you can do even better.
Step 5. Move on the stage, but don't be a nervous wreck
You can dissipate a bit of nervous energy and reach your audience by moving back and forth on stage. If you move with energy and gesture to emphasize, you will overcome your stage fright with your movements alone. But don't move your hands together fiddling with your hair, your notes, or the microphone if you don't want to appear to be a nervous wreck.
If you do not stop fidgeting, you will only create more tension and your audience will notice that you are not comfortable
Step 6. Speak more slowly
Most public speakers express their stage fright by speaking too fast. You may speak fast because you want the speech to end sooner that way, but in reality it will only make it harder for you to articulate your ideas and reach your audience. Most people who speak too fast don't even realize they're talking, so remember to pause for a second after each new idea, and give your audience a break to react to important statements.
- Speaking more slowly will make you less prone to making the wrong words. It will also help you better convey the key ideas of the speech.
- Time the length of your speech beforehand. Get used to the pace you need to keep up to finish your presentation in the appropriate time. Keep a watch handy and check it out every now and then to make sure you're on the right track.
Step 7. Ask how you did it
If you really want to improve on your stage fright, you should ask someone in the audience how you did it, asking for opinions after your presentation, taking a survey, or asking your colleagues for their honest opinion. Knowing that you did well will build your confidence, and knowing where you can improve will make you feel more confident the next time you take the stage.
Method 3 of 4: General Strategies for Overcoming Stage Fright
Step 1. Show false confidence
Even if your hands are shaking and your heart is about to explode, act like the coldest person in the world. Walk with your head high and a huge smile, and don't tell anyone how nervous you are. Maintain that pose when you go on stage and you will start to feel really confident.
- Look straight ahead instead of at the ground.
- Get straight.
Step 2. Create a ritual
Perform a failsafe ritual on the day of your presentation. This can consist of a five-kilometer walk in the morning, the same "last supper" before your performance, or even singing a certain song in the shower, or putting on your lucky socks. Do whatever it takes to lead you to success.
A lucky charm is an important part of a ritual. It could be a piece of jewelry that is important to you, or a silly stuffed animal cheering you on from your dressing room
Step 3. Think positively
Focus on everything that can go very well, rather than everything that can go wrong. Fight every negative thought with five positives. Keep a card with motivational quotes in your pocket, or do whatever it takes to focus on all the benefits acting will bring you, rather than thinking about all the fear and anxiety you may feel.
Step 4. Ask a professional actor or actress for advice
If you have a friend who is an outstanding actor, ask him for advice. You could learn new tricks and take comfort in knowing that almost everyone suffers from stage fright, no matter how safe they appear on stage.
Method 4 of 4: Overcoming stage fright for a performance
Step 1. Visualize success
Before entering the scene, imagine after finishing the performance. Imagine a standing ovation, visualize the smiles on the faces of the audience, and listen to the sound of the voices of your co-stars and the director telling you that you have done a splendid job. The more you focus on visualizing the best possible outcome rather than worrying about the worst case scenario, the easier it will be for you to achieve it. Imagine yourself performing superbly from the audience's point of view.
- It starts soon. Start visualizing success from the precise moment you are given the role. Get in the habit of imagining that you will do an excellent job.
- As premiere day approaches, you can work more intensely on visualizing success. Every night before you sleep and every morning when you wake up, imagine what a great job you will do.
Step 2. Practice as much as you can
Do it until you memorize it. Remember the words of the actor who speaks before you, to be able to recognize your inputs. Practice in front of your family, friends, stuffed animals, or empty chairs to get used to performing in front of the public.
- Part of the fear of acting comes from thinking that you will forget your lines and you will not know what to do. The best way to prevent that from happening is to become as familiar with your lines as you can.
- Practicing in front of others will help you get used to the fact that you won't be alone reciting your lines. They are sure to be perfect when you are alone in your room, but reciting becomes something completely different in front of the public.
Step 3. Get into your character
If you really want to overcome stage fright, try to truly experience the actions, thoughts, and concerns of the character you are playing. The more in tune you are with the personality you are going to play, the easier it will be for you to forget your own concerns. Imagine that you really are that person, rather than a nervous actor trying to represent that person.
Step 4. Observe your own performance
Gain self-confidence by reciting your lines in front of a mirror. You can even record your performance to see how well you do, and look for areas where you can improve. If you keep recording or watching yourself until you nail it, you are sure to succeed on stage.
- Being able to watch yourself perform will help you conquer your fear of the unknown. Knowing exactly what you look like will make you feel more comfortable on stage.
- Observe your quirks and see how you move your hands when you speak.
Note: this may not work for everyone. This trick can make some people feel more self-conscious and preoccupied with every movement of their body. If you find that observing yourself makes you even more nervous, then avoid this tactic
Step 5. Learn to improvise
Improvisation is a skill that every good actor must master. Improvising will help you prepare for any unexpected situation on stage. Many actors and presenters are so worried about forgetting their lines or getting in trouble that they don't consider the possibility that other cast members might make a mistake as well; Knowing how to improvise will help you feel comfortable acting and be prepared to face whatever comes your way.
- Improvising will also help you understand that you cannot control every detail of the performance. It is not about being perfect, it is about knowing how to react in every situation.
- Don't be startled or lost if something unexpected happens. Remember that the audience does not have a copy of the script and that they will only realize that something has not gone well if you make it obvious.
Step 6. Move your body
Staying active before and during the performance will help to ease tension and maintain audience interest. Of course, you should move when the character is supposed to move, but make the most of your movements and gestures so that your body relaxes when being active.
Step 7. Turn off your brain
Once you're on stage, focus on your words, your body, and your facial expressions. Don't waste time overthinking and asking nagging questions. Just enjoy your performance and live in the moment, whether you're singing, dancing, or reciting a few lines. If you've really learned to turn off your brain and live your performance fully, the audience will notice.
- Try to imagine the audience looking more ridiculous than yours (if you can). Imagining your audience in weird costumes can help you feel better.
- Some of the best actors come out on stage scared. Don't think you are the only one. Just take it on and you will soon be so engrossed in the role that you will forget you are on stage.
- If you forget a word, don't stop, continue. Try using other words that are not in the script. If your scene partner makes a mistake, "don't react to the mistake." Just ignore it, or if it's too serious to pass up, improvise taking advantage of the mistake. The ability to improvise is the mark of a true actor.
- Normally when you are performing there are strong spotlights towards you, so the lights could blind you and cause you to not see the audience very well. Try to focus on the spotlights (without blinding yourself) if you are very scared. But don't stare into space all the time. In addition, if it is a theatrical performance, the lighting in the auditorium is usually dimmed, so that a large white point is seen right where the crowd is.
- Practice with small groups and move on to larger groups.
- If you miss a dance step, no one will ever know, unless you stop. Keep going, and the audience will think it's part of the dance. Same with a script; the public doesn't know him, so don't worry about forgetting “one” line; improvise a bit and carry on.
- Remember, fear and euphoria are the same thing. Only your attitude towards this feeling will decide whether you will feel terrified or turned on by it.
- If eye contact with the audience makes you nervous, direct your gaze to a wall or light as you perform.
- If your first performance goes smoothly, you will probably be a lot less (or not at all) nervous for subsequent performances.
- Sometimes it's good to be a little nervous. If you are paranoid that you are going to make a mistake, then you will be more careful. Overconfident people make the most mistakes.
- Remember, the public will not eat you! So relax and have fun. Acting "is" serious, but you can still have a good time.
- It's good to act in front of your family first, and then on stage. That helps!
- Prepare as much as you can. Practice is the key; the more you rehearse, the more confident you will feel. Not to mention that your performance will be of better quality in every way.
- Remember your tickets! One of the most common mistakes novice actors make is memorizing their lines, but forgetting when to say them. You will face an unpleasant silence if you don't memorize your entries.
- Unless you have to dress characterized, make sure your wardrobe makes you feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. You don't want to be too concerned about your appearance on stage. In addition, dress in clothes that are not too revealing or sloppy for your performance. You don't want to show your crotch while developing your character on stage! Dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable and proud of your appearance. Confidence in this aspect will help you a lot.
- Go to the bathroom before going on stage!
- Do not eat much before your performance or you will feel nauseous. It will also lower your energy. Save the food for after the performance.