30 Vocal Tips in 30 Days
No. 12 4 HACKS FOR STAGE FRIGHT
Stage fright is a particularly frustrating problem because it feels beyond your control. You think you’re doing well, or you imagine you can talk yourself out of it, and then – 30 minutes before you go on, or 30 seconds after you’ve begun – you’re victimized by a cascade of symptoms. There’s no sure-fire way to get control of your response to stage fright, but here are some things that could help.
Diaphragm breathing: When you’re afraid or stressed, you take short, shallow, and irregular breaths. When you sleep, you take long, deep, and regular breaths. If you can make yourself take “sleeping breaths” it will be harder for your body to remember that it’s panicking.
Choose your thoughts: People with stage fright tend to imagine the worst, and those thoughts increase the symptoms. Instead, think (or even say out loud) thoughts that will calm and reassure you.
Visualize: This won’t help in the moment, but is your best investment in the long term.
Beta Blockers: Better living through chemistry, people. Beta blockers are a non-addicting, cheap drug that blocks the effects of adrenaline. They really work for musicians with stage fright. You’ll need an Rx.
TAKEAWAY: Stage fright is treatable.