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Nerves 1 Nerves 2               NERVES OF STEEL

The phrase I hear students say more than any other phrase is, “I was so nervous,” or “How do I make myself feel less nervous?”

I think I may have the answer. Well, I would say I have it 90% figured out.

The key to feeling less nervous while performing in front of an audience is all in your PREPARATION. If you really define what and how nerves work the whole process is based on you either worrying that you will disappoint your audience or yourself. Being anxious or nervous about something is also directly related to a thing called “the unknown.” You’re nervous because you don’t know how this experience is going to feel.

The first step is taking out the feeling of disappointment. You can do this by feeling EXTRA PREPARED. If you spend the most time you could possibly spend in preparing for your performance with lessons, practice sessions and research then you can say you’ve done your very best at that moment. What else could you possibly do? I always feel my best when I can walk on stage or into an audition and say to myself, “This is the very best I have to offer at this moment.”

The second step is being ok with “the unknown.” Of course you aren’t going to know how this experience makes you feel -that’s the beauty of a live performance. That is exactly what makes performing so exciting. On the flip side the more you perform the more you will know what to expect. Perform at every opportunity and the process will become more enjoyable.

Aside from the psychological aspects of anxiety -What are some things you can do to help yourself feel calmer on audition/performance day?

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Don’t skip that meal. Eat something neutral like a banana or an apple.
  • Plan out your time before the performance. Having a plan always puts you at ease.
  • Review your music or script to ensure any last minute uncertainties. You’ve got this!
  • Breathe. Deeply. In 4 out 12.
  • Warm-up!
  • Reward yourself with something fun after the event. Hit up the ice cream shop. Plan a nice dinner. Get a pedicure. You’ve earned it!

So next time you perform say goodbye to those anxious feelings and replace them with NERVES OF STEEL! 

Submitted by LBWietig 6/12/14

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