Get Over Stage Fright: Identify Your Fears
What are some of the things that happen to you as a result of stage fright?
A great first step in getting over stage fright is to simply identify what your fears are (once you’re well rehearsed, since there’s no substitute for preparation). Make a list. It can be anything from, “I don’t know what the accompaniment will sound like,” to “I never know what to do with my hands once I’m on stage,” to “I’m worried I’ll forget the words.” Try to be as specific as possible. “I don’t know what to do with my left hand when my right hand is holding the microphone” is better than “I’m scared I’ll look awkward up there.”
Once you have your list, go through the items and work through as many of them as you can. If you’re concerned about what your left hand is doing, work out some simple movements for your left hand. If you’re worried about that one verse you always forget the lyrics to, drill the verse separately from the rest of your song. If you’re nervous that your heart will race and make it harder to control your breathing, lightly jog in place while you sing so that you can get used to what it feels like to sing that way. Of course you can’t control for everything, because that’s not how performing (or life, for that matter, works), but the more tangible you make your fears, the less performing will feel like the undefined boogeyman under your bed. If you look closely, it’s just a pile of old clothes.
Do you have a strategy for controlling your stage fright? Let us know in the comments section below!
Molly is the founder of Molly’s Music. She is a dedicated singer and pianist whose musical journey spans 2.5 decades, with stops along the way to sing for the pope, pass Certificate of Merit at the highest level, study with Gwen Verdon and Ben Vereen, and record an original album.