HOW TO DEAL WITH STAGE FRIGHT
Today’s advice question came in anonymously. It reads:
I really like singing and I want to be a singer one day, but the problem is that I have stage fright.
I’ve tried to overcome it for a long time now, but I haven’t been able to do it, even though I’ve tried my best. I’ll be really upset if I can’t chase my dream of being a singer. Please give advice ASAP!
Hi there, my frightened friend! I totally get the fear of performing onstage. The first time I was onstage with Actually, I’m Not Really Sure Yet, I REALLY wasn’t sure I wouldn’t wet my pants. I was just that nervous!
I think everyone feels a little anxious being in front of a crowd. It’s not really natural to have TONS of people staring at you.
And it’s not like we can practice to get more comfortable in this super weird situation. It doesn’t happen any other time in our everyday life because it would be totally weird, rude, and creepy!
Think about it. Imagine you were doing your homework in an empty classroom and the ENTIRE school stood outside the window and watched (eating popcorn and shushing people who talked over the sound of your #2 pencil scratching the paper).
First, you’d wonder how boring and pathetic their lives are that they find THAT entertaining! But then you’d probably get self-conscious, wondering if you’re holding your pencil weirdly, or if your handwriting is too bubbly, too slanted, or too messy.
Any time people have their eyes glued to us, we want to be sure they’re seeing something good. And that can make it SUPER hard to sing!
It’s hard enough to hit all the right notes when you’re totally relaxed. It’s even HARDER when you’re shaking so bad that it sounds like you’re singing while jumping in a bouncy house!
Luckily, I have a few suggestions that might help you stop freaking out so you can wow the crowd!
1. Warm up before you get onstage…and not just your voice. Warm up your WHOLE body by stretching. This way, you’re more relaxed and less likely go to all Tinman up there (which can make you sound super tense, like you swallowed a spoonful of peanut butter).
2. Stay away from sweets and soda. Ten pixie sticks may sound like a GREAT idea when you’re spazzing out and looking to distract yourself with something tasty. But I beg you, STEP AWAY FROM THE SUGAR! It will only make you more jittery!
3. Tell yourself, “They all love me!” It’s easy to imagine that everyone in the audience thinks you stink, or can’t wait to laugh if you mess up. But unless you’re performing for 100 MacKenzies, that’s not true! They’re all rooting for you and they can’t wait to cheer for you, so pretend it’s a big crowd of family members.
When I imagine 100 versions of my mom holding a video camera, yelling, “Great job, sweetie! That’s my talented girl!” I feel…well, actually, that would be kind of annoying, embarrassing, and overwhelming, but you get my point!