Two years ago, we would have been advising you on tackling stage fright. Today, funnily enough, many of you still struggle with it minus the stage part. It’s all about the cameras, the live streams, the virtual shows in 2021. And it was brought to our attention that independent, new, inexperienced artists don’t know how to cope with feeling their throat freeze right before a live gig. Worry no more, we’re here to guide you on becoming a better artist by detailing to you the 5 potent ways to tackle live performing anxiety.
5. Do NOT watch failed auditions and live fails on YouTube the day or week prior to your own live show.
There’s an irony in humans being a bit… self-sabotaging. Did you notice how before you get on a plane you start thinking about movies with plane crashes? Or you find yourself watching the terrifying 9/11 attacks right before you hand over your passport at the airport? If you don’t engage in this maddening thought process, kudos to you. But many do. Especially those who don’t fly often. Reason being… your brain is terrified of new, unknown circumstances on which it has no control upon. Basically, you’re too smart for your own good. And in its attempt to make you stay at home, in its natural fear, it brings back the worst associations possible with the upcoming, new event. That’s what happens when you start imagining how you’ll fail while singing and how you start sweating not knowing whether you’ll hit that particularly high note or what not. In order to stop this negative thought process, you have to stop feeding your fears. No matter how tempting it becomes watching others fail even in trying to make yourself feel better as you might think “there’s now way I would ever fail this badly,” don’t do it. A positive attitude and optimistic expectations are just as important as a well trained voice.
4. Practice your songs continuously and consistently even when you don’t have upcoming shows.
You might get nauseous at hearing yourself singing the same song over and over again every day but… getting used to performing your tracks to the point of being sick of them is exactly when you know you can perform any day, any time. You need to be practicing your craft even when you have NO planned performances. A professional boxer doesn’t stop training just because he doesn’t have a match coming up next week. That should be your attitude when it comes to your vocal abilities. Vocal warm-up and performing your songs on a daily basis should be on the top of the to-do list. Your confidence will be through the roof when the day does arrive for you to bring the house down on that big stage.
3. DO envision your gig as a total and complete success.
The power of your mind is not something to joke about. What you expect, good or bad, is much more likely to influence the course of reality than reality itself. So expect the best of both yourself and the audience’s reception of you. The moment you accept or plan for the date and time of the performance is the moment you should take at least 10 minutes every day to visualize the event and imagine the absolute best possible outcome. Imagine yourself smiling and being proud of your stage presence and your voice. Feel the makeup on your face and the clothes on your back. See and hear how the people love you and applaud you. Or equally how they leave hundreds of comments under your IG live session. Act and live as if the show already took place and it was your best performance yet. That way, when the big day comes, you’ve already lived it in your mind dozens of times and you are looking forward to it!
2. Realize that it’s a process.
Would have you sweated your first job interview if someone told you that it was only the beginning of your career and that you’d switch at least 5 other jobs in the next 2 years? You wouldn’t. Live performing is the same. The more you do it, the better you become at it. And even though now it may seem like it will never happen again, it will. Once the doors open after this unfortunate pandemic, the opportunities to perform will be plenty. You warm up your voice, sing your songs daily, envision yourself being a total rockstar and dominating the crowd, and that’s all you could possibly do at the moment. If you’re fortunate enough to get a live gig these days, do your best but don’t take it too seriously. Have fun with it and enjoy the process.
1. Learn how to perform in front of a single person.
This is one dirty, dirty secret amongst the top professionals. If you want to perform like a god/goddess in front of hundreds, and eventually thousands, you first learn to perform in front of a single person. Seriously. Get your best friend on Zoom or if you have the possibility, go visit them in person, and sing/rap your heart out while looking them dead in the eyes. If you can truly conquer performing for a single person with all of your might, you will conquer stadiums too. It is stupidly hard not to start cracking jokes with your bestie or not letting their funny faces deter you from performing. But if you truly achieve perfection and can treat your bestie/ mom/ dad/ brother as an audience member, you sir will know no anxiety or stage fright.
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