Acting is an art that requires us to be confident, be it on or off the screen. There is a significant difference between acting in front of a camera and acting on stage. If we were to describe the difference in one word, it would be ‘retakes.’
The privilege of retakes does not exist when you perform live. While shooting for an ad or a movie, there is a camera and the crew. In other words, there are the people around whom the actor is somewhat comfortable but when you perform live, you are in front of strangers.
That is why you need to act your best because there is no chance for a retake. If you are not able to perform well, it might affect your career.
This series of thoughts leads to a phenomenon called stage fear. If you have ever performed live, you already know what we are talking about. Stage fear is a problem faced by many performers when they are performing live.
While stage fear is quite common in all performing arts, we are going to focus on acting and comedy. Both of them require you to engage with your audience. If your audience is not responsive, you might feel underconfident. Due to this, stage fright can occur.
We are going to talk about some exercises that can help you cure this problem. There is no easy way to say it, but overcoming stage fear takes time. With the help of these exercises, you can do it faster. Let us dive right in:
●Relax your body:
The first thing that you need to do. Once your body is relaxed, you will eventually release all the tension from your mind. This makes you more confident when you are on stage. There are different ways you can relax before you step on the stage.
The first thing that you can do is stretch yourself a bit. You can then have something like a banana that will fill your empty stomach but would not make it too full. It helps in avoiding nausea.
You can also chew gum before you enter the stage, this will release tension from your jaw. Make sure that you do not chew it for too long as it may lead to digestion problems.
If by any chance you have messed something up on stage, try to make it look like a part of the act. Every performer tries to do their best, but sometimes they mess up. However, a good performer would know how to make it look natural.
●Meditate before your performance:
If you get stage fright while performing, it could be because your mind is not at peace. There may be a hundred thoughts racing in your head. Due to this, you might not be able to focus on your act.
You need to calm your mind first. The best way for doing it is through meditation. Meditating on the day of your performance will surely help you. You just need to find yourself in a quiet place and 20 minutes to spare.
Remember that meditation is for peace of mind, you should not rush it and do it only when you have sufficient time. All you need to do is sit and fold your legs. Then put your palms on your lap. Make sure you are breathing deeply and not thinking about anything.
●Avoid Coffee or Energy Drinks:
One of the most common mistakes that people do is drinking a lot of caffeine before the act because they feel it would boost their energy. It is somewhat true but there are some downsides as well.
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and makes you alert. But consuming too much of it leads to overstimulation. This can be harmful because you start paying attention to everything. Instead of focusing on your act, the caffeine makes you focus on everything else.
Try to avoid consuming caffeine if possible, but if you love your coffee, try reducing the consumption.
●Set a timer for yourself:
On the day of your performance, give yourself some time to be nervous. For instance, if your performance is at 4 PM tell yourself that you will be nervous only till 3 PM.
This technique might not be appreciated by everyone equally, but it worked for many who tried it. By doing this you are constantly reminding your brain that you are allowed to be nervous only till a particular time.
Once the time is over, you need to promise yourself that you will not be nervous any further. Make sure to try this technique when you perform the next time
Online Acting Class:
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